The Colombian Red Cross Society continues to conduct a country-wide response to the population movement. In the past 30 months, there has been a fluctuating number of people on the move, with varying profiles, needs and plans. The situation affects five key population groups: migrants on foot (caminantes), host communities, settled migrants, pendular migrants, and Colombian returnees from Venezuela. All groups encounter similar challenges, such as access to health services and livelihoods, but they also face different risks according to their condition. During the first 30 months of this Emergency Appeal, the CRCS, with the support of the IFRC, has provided this diverse population with health care, including psychosocial support (PSS) services, as well as conducting integrated actions in the areas of shelter; livelihoods and basic needs; water, sanitation, and hygiene promotion; protection, gender, and inclusion (PGI).
Through this Emergency Appeal, five Health Care Units (HCU) were active in Arauca (Arauca), Riohacha (La Guajira), Ipiales (Nariño), Puerto Carreño (Vichada) and La Hormiga (Putumayo) and seven Health Providing Institutes (HPI) were operational in Riohacha and Maicao (La Guajira), Bucaramanga (Santander), Cartagena (Bolivar), Barranquilla (Atlántico), Soacha (Cundinamarca) and Cucuta (Norte de Santander) until December 2019. As of September 2021, this Appeal funds the HCU in Arauca, Riohacha, Ipiales, La Hormiga and Puerto Carreño. Additionally, this operation funds a mobile medical unit in Villa del Rosario (Norte de Santander) and Rumichaca (Pasto) and a medical team in the Maicao refugee centre managed by UNHCR.
In aggregate, these medical units have provided 296,179 health care services. This represents close to 83,856 individuals. Friendly spaces have provided safety to 44,659 migrants in extreme vulnerability situations such as children, nursing mothers and pregnant women, and members of the LGBTIQ community. Through Restoring Family Links (RFL) actions, 17,275 people were able to re-establish and maintain contact with their loved ones. A total of 75,021 kits has been distributed: 41,795 hygiene kits, 4,476 bedding kits, and 24,500 food kits. In total, 504,432 services were provided, in addition to an estimated 452,726 people who used the hydration points to access safe water.
Forecasts indicate that migration flows will not decrease in the medium term despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the continued demand for humanitarian support to people on the move within the country and across borders and migrants who have settled in Colombia, this operation will continue to provide existing services, attend to migrants’ humanitarian needs in additional locations, address further protection needs and increase recovery, stabilization and integration activities. Although 77 per cent coverage of the current budget has been financed, further funding is required to support all proposed activities by the closure of this operation on 30 June 2021. The IFRC kindly encourages increased donor support to ensure the completion of the planned activities, including actions to ensure their sustainability after the operation ends.