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Donor Update on UNHCR COVID-19 Response in Colombia - #12 (2 -16 September 2020)

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Situation Report
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CURRENT CONTEXT

The Colombian Ministry of Health confirmed 728,590 cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday, 15 September, with Bogotá concentrating the highest number (243,456 confirmed cases). A total of 23,288 individuals have died from COVID-19 and 607,978 cases have recovered.

According to Migración Colombia, 103,707 Venezuelans have returned to Venezuela from or through Colombia as of Thursday, 3 September. Between 27 August and 9 September, 690 Venezuelans, including 198 caminantes (people in transit on foot) returned to Venezuela via Arauca, 1,800 via Cúcuta, and 250 via La Guajira.

Migración Colombia released the latest numbers of Venezuelans living in the country as of 30 June 2020: a total of 1,748,716 people including 985,859 in an irregular situation, representing a 1% reduction compared to the previous month. In addition to the 487 Venezuelans currently staying at the Transitory Health Attention Center (CAST in Spanish) at the Tienditas International Bridge near Cúcuta, there are 406 Venezuelans at Hotel Villa Antigua, 426 caminantes in La Parada, Cúcuta and 20 in the Scalabrini shelter.

As per UNHCR and partners’ monitoring, between 260 and 300 Venezuelans are reportedly entering Colombia through informal crossings on a daily basis while Migración Colombia notes a 50% reduction in the number of returns to Venezuela since the end of the national quarantine. On 8 September, the number of Venezuelans stranded at the border dropped to 880 from 1,861 as registered on 31 August.

As per GIFMM monitoring, between 12 June and 9 September, 579 eviction reports were registered (350 evictions and 229 at risk of eviction) affecting 1,461 Venezuelans, as per the following breakdown: 53.6% females, 43.1% males and 0.9% others (3.6% does not have information disaggregated by gender). Additionally, 1,260 Venezuelans have been identified at risk of eviction.

Violent attacks and massacres continued during the reporting period: according to national media outlets, at least five massacres occurred in this period. On 5 September, three bodies were found in the community of Seguengue (El Tambo, Cauca) whose murder was attributed to FARC-EP dissidents, bringing the number of people killed so far in the area to 53 in 2020.

Between September 7 and 8, four massacres took place that left three people dead (two of them Venezuelans) in Simití, southern Bolívar Department; five miners in the community of La Valentina (Zaragoza, Antioquia), three people (two of them Venezuelans) murdered in the urban area of the municipality of Aguachica, Cesar, and three men dead (one of them a minor) in Carmen de Bolívar, Bolívar department. All of these events are allegedly related to the presence of illegal armed actors.

During the reporting period, four new largegroup displacements have occurred, mainly due to threats and confrontations between illegal armed actors: In Policarpa, Nariño, 55 families consisting of 160 individuals; in Alto Baudó, Chocó 45 families consisting of 141 individuals; in Cáceres, Antioquia, 180 families consisting of 561 individuals, and in Tarazá, Antioquia, 28 families consisting of 109 individuals were displaced. In addition, two new confinements occurred due to clashes between illegal armed groups and other armed actors within the framework of the armed conflict. In Bojayá, Chocó, 229 families consisting of 1,200 individuals and in Alto Baudó, Chocó 653 families consisting of 2,942 individuals.