As a result of the dispute between different armed groups, thousands of people have suffered violent attacks, while entire communities have been displaced or live for months confined in their homes.
In addition to the humanitarian situation generated by the armed conflict, Colombia has also received a massive number of migrants from Venezuela in recent years, currently hosting more than 2.5 million people, many in precarious situations.
In Barabcoas, Nariño, we focus on community health, while in Alto Baudó, Chocó, our teams are focused on emergency care and community health.
In all of our projects in Colombia, we also include sexual and reproductive health care to guarantee safe abortion for women who need it.
Voices from the field
I see the need for these people to be protected and for the creation of safe routes for migrants.Helmer Charris, MSF project coordinator, Panama
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.`
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