MSF teams provide mental healthcare to people who are displaced by the armed clashes, and those traumatised by the ongoing violence by the armed groups that have arisen in the post-conflict situation.
Teams also provide comprehensive care for victims of sexual violence, as well as safe abortion care to women who request it.
We also provide assistance to refugees and migrants from Venezuela, and in 2020, we responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Voices from the field
Folk are reluctant to talk openly about the conflict. What seems clear is that people are scared to move around.Steve Hide, MSF head of mission, Colombia
Our activities in 2021 in Colombia
Data and information from the International Activity Report 2021.
In Nariño, we ran an emergency care project based in Barbacoas municipality. During the year, our team responded to 12 emergencies. Ten of these were caused by armed conflict, when communities were either displaced or confined by violence. The other two interventions were in response to floods and an outbreak of malaria. In addition to providing general and mental health care, we offered sanitation support and distributed hygiene and cooking kits to displaced people. In 2021, we also launched a new project delivering care and health promotion activities in rural areas where there is little access to health services.
In Norte de Santander, we offered general healthcare and check-ups for children under 10 years of age, as well as sexual and reproductive health services and individual and family mental health consultations. Our teams worked mainly in Tibú and La Gabarra, assisting both Venezuelan migrants and Colombians with no healthcare cover. We handed this project over to the NGO Première Urgence Internationale in October.
We also sent a team to provide general and mental health care to indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities in Alto Baudó municipality, in Chocó department, following heavy rains in November. The humanitarian needs in this area, characterised by a lack of healthcare, education, employment and more recently, food, were exacerbated in 2021 by a surge in armed violence.
In 2021, we spoke out about the violence perpetrated by criminal groups against people crossing the Darién Gap, a remote swath of jungle on the border between Colombia and Panama. MSF highlighted the need for safe migration routes and called on regional governments to provide protection from violence for migrant families.`