Colombia

Protecting the most vulnerable

Colombia is hosting over 1 million people who’ve fled the economic crisis in neighbouring Venezuela. Health services are overwhelmed, and children are at risk of sexual exploitation and recruitment into armed groups.

Colombia is home to the world’s longest continuous conflict. Around 7.3 million people have been displaced from their homes over the past 50 years. Many communities are also blighted by natural disasters.

We’ve been working in Colombia since 1991, supporting children with education, healthcare, clean water and sanitation.

Working with schools and communities affected by armed conflict, our child protection teams seek to break the cycle of violence. And by involving children in our advocacy and planning, we also build resilience and give children a voice.

AN EVER-GROWING CRISIS

Every day 5,000 people cross into Colombia, fleeing desperate conditions in Venezuela. Hospitals have run out of medicine. Children are fainting in class from hunger. Families are selling everything they own to leave.

We’re scaling up child protection programmes in the border regions, protecting children from armed groups and human traffickers.

We’re providing school materials and hygiene kits to families who’ve arrived with nothing. And we’re training teachers to better support children affected by the crisis.

EMERGENCY HEALTH RESPONSE

Our Emergency Health Unit has completed a rapid assessment and the findings are dire.

Scores of expectant mothers have crossed into Colombia having had no medical care at all in Venezuela. Whole families are arriving malnourished. Parents are desperate for vaccines and children are suffering from skin conditions caused by poor hygiene. We urgently need funds to respond.

Through our Emergency Fund, we can be there for children caught up in forgotten crises, in places like Colombia, where displacement and disease are threatening children’s lives every day.

Venezuela-Colombia border crossing in Cucuta where 5,000 cross a day.

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