Colombia: Population Movement - Revised Emergency Appeal Revision 3 (MDRCO014)

This Revised Emergency Appeal seeks a total of some 6,6 million Swiss francs increased from 4,9 million to enable the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Colombian Red Cross Society (CRCS) to deliver assistance and support to some 170,000 people for 27 months, with a focus on the following areas of focus: Shelter; Livelihood and basic needs; Health; Water, sanitation and hygiene; Protection, Gender and Inclusion; Migration; and Disaster Risk Reduction.

This revised Appeal results in a funding gap of 1.69 million Swiss francs based on an increased number of people to be reached, an extended timeframe, an increase in activities and consequent increase in the number of staff and volunteers involved, and an enlarged geographic scope. The planned response reflects the current situation and information available at the time of the creation of this revised appeal. With some margin for flexibility, this Appeal could be adjusted based on evolving humanitarian needs, developments and information from detailed assessments. Details are available in the Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) <click here>

The operational strategy

In recent years, the number of people migrating from Venezuela to neighbouring countries and other locations around the globe has increased. UNHCR has estimated that over 4 million Venezuelans have migrated, with 2.7 million of these since 20151 . As of 31 March 2019, Migracion Colombia, the Colombian state entity in charge of migration, estimated that there were 1,260,594 Venezuelan migrants in Colombia, the vast majority of which are in the departments of La Guajira, Cundinamarca, Norte de Santander and Atlántico, each estimated to host more than 100,000 migrants. It is expected that the number of migrants in Colombia will be somewhere between 1.7 to 2.3 million by the end of 20192 . Approximately 770,000 Venezuelan migrants hold a residence permit or a transit permit3 . This means that Colombia receives the largest number of Venezuelan migrants in the region. Additional transcontinental migrant flows have been identified as transiting through Antioquia and the Gulf of Uraba, to reach Panama and North America, in some cases fleeing violence, persecution or breach of human rights, as well as for personal or economic reasons.

The migration phenomenon has to be considered in the context of the existing humanitarian situation in Colombia, including internal displacement. OCHA estimates that in 2019, there will be 7 million people in need in Colombia, including 1.9 million migrants and 5.1 million people affected by the humanitarian situation due to natural disasters or armed conflict. There are 96 municipalities (9 per cent of all municipalities in Colombia) where the population is affected simultaneously by armed conflict, natural disasters and migration4 . Finally, external factors such as changes in third countries’ immigration requirements have had a consequent effect on migration flows in Colombia.

This operation has been focused on, but not limited to, providing health care and complementary services without discrimination to Venezuelan migrants, Colombians returnees from Venezuela and host communities, and is now looking to expand its support to transcontinental migrants from South American countries or other continents.

As at end June 2019, the IFRC has supported the Colombian Red Cross in providing more than 98,000 essential medical, hygiene, shelter and protection services to vulnerable migrants. Due to the fact that migrants are on the move across the country, and may benefit from a variety of different services, it is not possible at this stage to track how many persons have been attended. As part of the efforts to provide comprehensive attention to the target population, avoid double counting and ensure proper data protection, humanitarian aid provided to migrants are counted by service and not by person.

In light of the continuing humanitarian need, this Revised Emergency Appeal has set itself the goal of providing 170,000 health and complementary services, including shelter, livelihoods, hygiene and protection services, to vulnerable people in need, over an extended period of 27 months. Special attention will continue to be given to pregnant women, children and breastfeeding women. In order to reach this population, this Emergency Appeal has focused on i) border cities that report the largest migration flows: Riohacha (La Guajira), Arauca (Arauca) and Ipiales (Nariño), and ii) cities affected by migration flows and with little or no humanitarian assistance available: Puerto Carreño (Vichada) and La Hormiga (Putumayo). On the other hand, services are also being provided in some of the biggest cities in Colombia where migrants have been settling and have an important need for health and other services (Barranquilla, Cartagena, Riohacha, Maicao, Bucaramanga, and Bogota). In light of more recent needs assessments, there is a renewed focus on protection activities, specialist healthcare, additional cash transfer initiatives, and in light of the increasing number of migrants with a desire to remain, disaster risk reduction activities and community-level dissemination will be carried out to promote integration and social cohesion. Interventions will be carried out in additional locations as needs emerge and as the situation evolves. The Colombian operation complements the Americas Regional Emergency Appeal, that works with National Societies in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Panamá, Perú, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay. In addition, the regional response in Ecuador: Population Movement DREF operation (MDREC013); and the Monarch Butterfly programme maintain close coordination to ensure articulation of actions and sharing of information.

The Colombian operation complements the Americas Regional Emergency Appeal, that works with National Societies in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Panamá, Perú, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay. In addition, the regional response in Ecuador: Population Movement DREF operation (MDREC013); and the Monarch Butterfly programme maintain close coordination to ensure articulation of actions and sharing of information.