Supplementary appeal for IDPs in Colombia

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 20 Feb 2007
Executive summary

This is UNHCR's supplementary appeal for internally displaced people in Colombia. The objective of UNHCR's programme is to promote protection and durable solutions for the three million displaced people in the country.

Colombia has one of the largest displaced populations in the world. In 2006, more than 170,000 people, particularly from indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities, were forced to flee from their homes, bringing the total number of internally displace people (IDPs) to some three million.

Colombia has a sophisticated legal framework and institutional structure to support the humanitarian response to internal displacement. The Government is the main provider of humanitarian assistance for displaced people and in 2005 it approved a budget of USD 2 billion to assist IDPs. In spite of this, Colombia represents the greatest humanitarian crisis in the Americas and the situation has not substantially improved.

The Colombian crisis has also affected the regional stability. More than 500,000 Colombians of concern to UNHCR have fled to surrounding countries, particularly Ecuador, Venezuela, Panama and Costa Rica.

In some parts of Colombia, the armed conflict makes it difficult for humanitarian agencies to reach affected communities. The presence of armed groups has increased in border areas and landmines are widespread.

UNHCR works with the State to improve its response to internal displacement and compliance with the existing legislation. UNHCR's overall objective in Colombia is to promote a collaborative and comprehensive response to the crisis of internal displacement. This entails efforts to prevent displacement, ensure protection and humanitarian assistance and to foster durable solutions.

Through its planned interventions, UNHCR expects the following results in 2007:

- State institutions implement the orders of the Constitutional Court on basic minimum standards of treatment for displaced people.

- 80,000 undocumented displaced people are provided with documentation by the Special Unit for Attention to Vulnerable Populations (UDAPV) of the National Registry.

- 33,000 families that are displaced or at risk of being displaced benefit from land property protection measures in seven provinces.

- Free legal and psychosocial assistance is given by Legal Aid Centers in nine big cities, directly benefiting more than 8,000 displaced families.

- At least 1,300 families in Nariño, Bucaramanga, Putumayo and Soacha benefit from economic stabilization programmes.

- The presence and capacity of the State's Office of the Ombudsman is strengthened in all border areas and the areas most affected by the conflict.

- Nine indigenous organizations and 58 Afro- Colombian Community Councils (Consejos Comunitarios) are participating in the formulation of public policies on the prevention and response to displacement.

- Year 2007 is declared as the Year for the Rights of IDPs by the parliament in order to raise awareness and solidarity for displaced people.

Programme at a glance

Title Protection and durable solutions for IDPs in Colombia
Beneficiaries Direct beneficiaries: 350,000 IDPs
Indirect beneficiaries: Approximately 3 million IDPs
Time frame 1 January - 31 December 2007
Total requirements USD 14,436,364