This page covers our work in Colombia, Ecuador and Panama.
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 through informal border crossings in Ecuador, Colombia and Panama.
86,122people benefited from our education programme
44,313people benefited from our food security programme
48,044people benefited from our shelter programme
230,260people benefited from our ICLA programme
60,270people benefited from our WASH programme
62,540people benefited from other NRC activities
In Colombia we help 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.
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.
Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)
Our ICLA team provides reliable and up-to-date legal services on access to documentation, access to the refugee status procedure, and other regularisation mechanisms. We also provide legal services to claim or exercise rights that are denied or violated for refugees and migrants. These populations face particular challenges in enjoying their housing rights. So, we work with justice mechanisms – traditional, state-based and collaborative resolution mechanisms - to help prevent evictions and collaboratively resolve disputes.
Shelter 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.
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.
Livelihoods 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.
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.
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.
- Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway (NMFA)
- Norad - Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation
- Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
- USAID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA)
- U.S. Department of State's Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (BPRM)
- European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO)
- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)
- Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
- The LEGO Foundation
- The World Food Programme (WFP)
- The United Nations Peace-Building Fund (UN PBF)
- Education Cannot Wait (ECF) - UNICEF
- The Ford Foundation
- The Colombian Ministry of Education (MoE)