Colombia: Floods DREF Bulletin No. MDRCO002

Situation Report
Originally published


The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in 185 countries.

In Brief

This DREF Bulletin is being issued based on the situation described below reflecting the information available at this time. CHF 172,000 (USD 142,857 or EUR 105,838) was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 17 August 2007 to respond to the needs in this operation.

This operation is expected to be implemented over 3 months, and will be completed by 17 November 2007; a Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by 17 February 2008). Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

This operation is aligned with the International Federation's Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

Background and current situation

Since March 2007, the annual rainy season has caused major floods and landslides affecting at least 276 municipalities located in 28 of the 32 departments of Colombia. According to official data issued by National Direction for Disasters Prevention and Response (Dirección de Prevención y Atención de Desastres - DPAD) (DPAD, 8 August 2007) 121 persons have died, 22 are missing, 652,430 persons (131,992 families) have been affected, 1,136 houses were destroyed and 14,928 severely damaged. Nearly 25% of the country's municipalities report events associated to disasters caused by heavy rains.

According to the Colombian Institute for Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies (Instituto de Hidrología, Meteorología y Estudios Ambientales de Colombia - IDEAM), the dry season is in place in the Andean region. However, the passage of several tropical waves has increased the risk and prevalence of heavy rains throughout the Caribbean Coast. In particular, the water level of the Sinú and San Jorge rivers remains high. On August 11, local authorities have reported the flooding of Cauca river's embankment in La Tea location (Sucre Department). As a consequence, seven families have been relocated in Guaranda municipality. In other affected areas in La Mojana region (located in Sucre and Bolivar departments) the overall situation is progressively improving. Humanitarian assistance is provided under the coordination of Regional and Local Committees for Disasters Prevention and Response (CREPAD and CLOPADS) due to the efforts of several humanitarian actors. According to local authorities, the most urgent need is to restore the livelihoods of thousands of families (nearly 11,382) whose lands still remain flooded.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Colombia: Walter Cotte, National Director of Operations and Relief, Colombian Red Cross Society, Bogotá; email: Phone (571) 437-6300, fax (571) 473-6301

In Colombia: Javier Barrera, Federation Representative, Bogotá;, Phone (571) 428-5138, fax (571) 660-7010

In Lima: Giorgio Ferrario, Head of Regional Representation for South America, email: Phone (511) 221-8151, fax (511) 441-3607

In Panama: Stephen McAndrew, Coordinator, Federation Pan American Disaster Response Unit, Panama; email, phone (507) 316-1001, fax (507) 316-1082

In Panama: Jose Garcia-Lozano, Head of Zone, Americas, email:, phone (507) 317 13 00; fax; (507) 317 13 04

In Panama: Xavier Castellanos, Deputy Head of Zone, Americas, email: phone (507) 317 13 00; fax; (507) 317 13 04

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at