Photo: Christian Jepsen/NRC

NRC in Colombia

NRC Colombia
A six decade-long armed conflict has given Colombia the most prolonged and serious humanitarian crisis in the Americas. Since 1991, NRC has been active in the country, where millions of people have been forcibly displaced.

This page covers our work in Colombia, Ecuador and Panama.

Facts

A total of

558,915

people in need received our assistance in 2021.

 

Humanitarian overview

According to the UN there are 12 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in Colombia, Ecuador, and Panama. The increase in violence and conflict in Colombia in 2021, the continued and unprecedented migration from Venezuela and the effects of the pandemic, disasters, and climate change have increased the number of people in need.

Despite the hopes of the Peace Agreement – signed between the Government and FARC-EP in 2016 seeking an end to the 42 years of conflict – peace has not reached Colombia. Through 2021, the number of forcibly displaced people almost tripled compared to 2020. At the same time Colombians continue fleeing the country to seek international protection in, among others, Ecuador and Panamá.

Additionally, Colombia, Ecuador and Panama host around 2.3 million people who have fled from the growing humanitarian situation in Venezuela. The Covid-19 pandemic has hit Venezuelans displaced abroad and host communities hard, exacerbating needs and entrenching poverty even further.

Humanitarian needs and human rights violations have also increased as a consequence of the recent unprecedent surge of mixed flows of migrants, mainly Haitians, through informal border crossings in Ecuador, Colombia and Panama.

  • 76,493
    people benefited from our education programme
  • 66,471
    people benefited from our food security programme
  • 64,136
    people benefited from our shelter programme
  • 194,278
    people benefited from our ICLA programme
  • 157,537
    people benefited from our WASH programme

 

NRC's operation

In Colombia we provide assistance to internally displaced people in hard-to-reach areas where authorities struggle to protect civilians and provide help. Despite the ongoing conflict, we also contribute to the process of reintegration of former combatants into civilian life and promote reconciliation processes in territories affected by violence. We also help Colombians in need of international protection in Ecuador and Panama.

The crisis in Venezuela means that many people are seeking humanitarian aid in other countries. We are implementing a multi-country Colombia-Panama-Ecuador action plan to respond. NRC is also currently assisting Venezuelan migrants and refugees in Peru through our partner Encuentros – Servicio Jesuita de Solidaridad.

NRC EducationEducation

We help displaced, migrant and refugee families keep their children in school, and work with youth and adults so they can complete their education and find safe vocational training opportunities. We continue to work with schools to reach people with educational materials and kits, identify challenges and solutions to ensure continuity of education and ensure those who are out of school are not neglected.

 

NRC Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)

We continue to provide reliable and up-to-date information on access to documentation. We improve access to registration procedures and legal humanitarian assistance, as well as access to land and housing for communities who have had their land or houses seized or abandoned. As many people face particular challenges in accessing their rights to housing during the pandemic, we work with justice mechanisms – from traditional and state mechanisms to collaborative resolution mechanisms – to help resolve housing disputes and prevent evictions.

 

NRC Shelter and settlementsShelter and settlements

Access to shelter is essential for one’s dignity, privacy, health, and physical and social protection. Our shelter and settlements teams provide access to adequate shelter solutions for affected people across all phases of displacement. This ranges from rapidly deployable emergency shelter solutions that can save lives, to supporting early recovery and promoting durable solutions.

 

NRC Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) promotion

Without sufficient safe water for drinking and personal hygiene, it is difficult to stay healthy and combat the pandemic. We provide infrastructure and equipment for water and water treatment, as well as hygiene and sanitation kits. We also teach good hygiene practices and we help displaced, migrants and refugee families to achieve better living conditions.

 

NRC Livelihoods and food securityLivelihoods and food security

When displaced people, migrants or refugees do not have access to food supplies, NRC provides food assistance. We promote livelihood strategies that protect, restart, and strengthen the ability of individuals and households to earn a living. The inclusion of host communities in this response is key to preventing discrimination and xenophobia.

 

Cash transfers

In times of crisis, cash-based humanitarian assistance enables people in need to buy food, hygiene products or pay rent. We make electronic transfers through different means (such as smartphones or electronic payment cards) to displaced people and host communities. We also provide vouchers, coupons or cards that can be exchanged for a specific amount of goods and services.

 

Emergency response    

When a new emergency arises, we provide humanitarian assistance to communities where no permanent field presence has yet been or can be established. We are present in border areas where migrants and refugees need assistance. We provide food, water, hygiene kits, legal assistance, protection and promote access to temporary shelter. We also help displaced, migrant and refugee children to go to safe learning environments during acute emergencies.


 

About NRC in Colombia

Established
1991–2004: Indirect presence through Project Counselling Service Consortium. 2005 – Direct presence in Colombia
International staff
8
Areas of operation
Colombia (Antioquia, Arauca, Atlántico, Bogotá D.C., Caquetá, Cauca, Cesar, Chocó, Cundinamarca, Guainía, Guaviare, La Guajira, Magdalena, Meta, Nariño, Norte de Santander, Valle del Cauca, Vaupés, Vichada). Ecuador (Azuay, Carchi, El Oro, Esmeraldas, Guayaquil, Guayas, Imbabura, Manabí, Orellana, Pichincha, Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, Sucumbíos, Tungurahua). Panamá (Chiriquí, Colón, Darién, Panamá, Panamá Oeste). Perú (Lima, Piura, Tumbes).
Budget 2021
NOK 331 million
National staff
616

NRC in Colombia

Country Director

Dominika Arseniuk

Phone

(+571) 514 0461

E-mail

co.nrc@nrc.no