Colombia

HRI 2011: Focus on Colombia - Changes and Expectations

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The Crisis and The Response:

President Juan Manuel Santos, elected in 2010, approved the Law of Victims and Land Restoration.

Among other things, this new law acknowledges a long-denied humanitarian crisis, yet the problem is far from resolved.

The exact number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Colombia remains unknown, with figures ranging from 3,700,381 to 5,200,000. 2010 records indicate that around 280,000 people were displaced and many more were subject to confinement. In the first semester of 2011, almost 90,000 people were forced to flee their homes.

It is estimated that 98.6 % of IDPs live below the poverty line - 82.6 % of which are considered extremely poor.

La Niña caused the worst floods in Colombia’s recent history, affecting 3,120,628 people, including displaced and already vulnerable populations.

In response to the floods, the Colombian government created Colombia Humanitaria, a response and reconstruction fund. Nevertheless, the crisis still exceeded national capacities.

Although the floods overshadowed the IDP crisis, the armed conflict remains the country’s most pressing humanitarian concern.