A. Analysis of the Situation
Description of the disaster
According to official figures from the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 796,000 migrants entered Colombia through official migration points in 2017, 53 per cent of whom entered via the Simón Bolívar International Bridge in Cúcuta (Norte de Santander department), 19 per cent via Paraguachón (La Guajira department) and 17 per cent via El Dorado International Airport in Bogota. The remaining 11 per cent entered via other immigration control posts in Guajira, Norte de Santander, Arauca and Vichada. According to the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) 2017 figures, the immigration posts that received the highest volume of migrants (49 per cent female and 51 per cent male) were Cúcuta (48 per cent), Villa del Rosario (24.6 per cent), Paraguachón (24 per cent), Puerto Santander (1.6 per cent) and Arauca (1.2 per cent).
According to National Disaster Risk Management Unit data, the Colombian state granted 1,000,000 Border Mobilization Cards (TMF) to Venezuelan nationals. These permits greatly facilitated migrants’ access to basic supply markets in Colombian border areas, as well as their temporary housing under minimum conditions of access to certain services.
A total of 1,244,434 individuals entered Colombia through international bridges in Cúcuta, Villa del Rosario and Puerto Santander in December 2017, but fewer than 1,136,639 returned to Venezuela in that same period of time. In January 2018, numbers increased once again, with mostly Venezuelan nationals-- seconded by Colombian nationals-- entering the country. This was consistent with the trend of people crossing the border intending to migrate to Colombia or on their way to countries to the south such as Ecuador, Peru and Chile.
Summary of the current response
The Colombian Red Cross Society provided basic assistance to Venezuelan citizens and logistical support along the border zone through its local branches in Norte de Santander, La Guajira and Arauca. It maintained existing areas of action and led migrant assistance activities in border zones through humanitarian aid actions in strategic zones.
The CRCS implemented the following actions:
Coordination meetings with the National Disaster Risk Management System (SNGRD).
Participation in weekly UNGRD meetings for emergency prevention and management in Norte de Santander
Inter-institutional coordination with Municipal Disaster Risk Management Committees (CMGRD) and Departmental Disaster Risk Management Committees (CDGRD).
Installation of First Aid Posts in border zones.
Medical assistance provided by Colombian Red Cross Society local branches.
Ambulance service (transport of patients).
Psychosocial support for families in the border zone (psychological first aid, individual assistance).
Implementation of water distribution points in border zones for the affected population.
Distribution of basic food kits at different points along the border for affected families.
Distribution of personal hygiene kits at different points along the border for affected families.
Provision of snacks at bus terminals for people traveling to other regions in Colombia.