Contribution to UNHCR's Activities in Colombia 2021
UNHCR’s overall strategic objective under the Venezuela Situation response in Colombia is to ensure protection and life-saving humanitarian assistance as well as promote peaceful coexistence and community integration among Venezuelan refugees and migrants, their host communities as well as Colombian returnees from Venezuela. In addition, UNHCR works to build the capacity of the Colombian government in ensuring
Humanitarian Aid Measures / Template an effective response in terms of protection and durable solutions for persons of concern to UNHCR. In 2021, UNHCR continues to support local and national health authorities to prevent the spread and mitigate the effects of COVID-19. Furthermore, UNHCR is supporting the government in implementing the new Temporary Protection Status for Venezuelans.
Under its planned response for 2021, UNHCR Colombia will:
- Provide temporary shelter/housing assistance to over 35,000 individuals;
- Provide legal assistance to an estimated 150,000 Venezuelan refugees and migrants arriving from Venezuela (including Colombian returnees), especially to access the new Temporary Protection Status and regularize in Colombia;
- Provide multipurpose cash grants to 50,000 beneficiaries to meet basic needs.
- Support access to health and medical services for at least 30,000 beneficiaries.
- At least 22,000 Venezuelans and members of the host community will participate in projects promoting peace coexistence.
UNHCR aims to reach 450,000 direct beneficiaries under its Venezuela Situation response in Colombia in 2021.
Composition/breakdown of the total target group UNHCR’s population of concern:
- Refugees and migrants: 247,500
- Pendular Venezuelans: 76,500
- Returnees: 45,000
- Host communities: 81,000
Total direct beneficiaries of Austria's contribution of EUR 1,000,000: 65,450 Venezuelan refugees and migrants as well as Colombian returnees and host communities.
Direct Implementation by UNHCR and through Partners such as International Organization for Migration (IOM), Corporación Opción Legal, Caritas Colombia (Secretariado Nacional de la Pastoral Social) and CORPRODINCO (Corporación de Profesionales para el Desarrollo Integral Comunitario), as well as international NGOs such as the Norwegian Refugee Council, SOS Children's Villages Colombia, Malteser International Americas, and the Danish Refugee Council.
Activities will be implemented in locations where refugees and migrants are concentrated, mainly along the border with Venezuela, the Atlantic Coast and around Bogotá.
- Support to shelter activities: To ensure adequate temporary shelter for most the vulnerable refugees and migrants, UNHCR will continue supporting the establishment and management of the Integrated Assistance Centre in Maicao as well as support a country wide shelter network.
- Improve medical assistance in temporary shelters: To ensure Venezuelans and Colombian returnees staying at shelters in La Guajira receive health screening and medical care prior to shelter entry, activities will include measures to identify, prevent and mitigate COVID-19.
- Provision of humanitarian assistance: To ensure the most vulnerable households and individuals, including female headed households and persons with specific protection needs can safely meet their basic needs, UNHCR will provide humanitarian assistance through cash transfers.
- Support to protection activities: To ensure protection for vulnerable children, UNHCR will strengthen its child protection activities which will also benefit host communities.
- Promote social cohesion: UNHCR will continue and strengthen is efforts against discrimination and xenophobia through the Somos Panas Colombia campaign, thereby promoting social cohesion as well as providing information to promote access regularization via the new Temporary Protection Status.
Colombia continues to be the country most impacted by the outflow of over 5.5 million refugees and migrants from Venezuela, the second largest forced displacement crisis globally and the largest ever in Latin America. It has also been among the ten countries most adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide with Venezuelan refugees and migrants among the most vulnerable. In addition to the Venezuelan population, over 9 million people have been registered as victims of Colombia’s 60-year armed conflict. Out of this cumulative figure, 8 million experienced internal displacement. Since the signing of the Peace Agreement in 2016, more than 593,000 new displacements have occurred in this ongoing crisis as of May 2021.
In Colombia, UNHCR co-leads the Inter-Agency Group of Mixed Flows (GIFMM in Spanish) together with IOM, which is the coordination mechanisms for the operational response to the arrival of Venezuelan refugees and migrants, Colombian returnees and host communities in Colombia. There are currently 8 local GIFMM, and 2 more linked to other GIFMMs, covering a total of 13 departments in Colombia. UNHCR also co-leads the 52-member Protection Cluster together with the Norwegian Refugee Council. At field level, UNHCR leads three Thematic Protection Working Groups. The GIFMM works at the national and local level in a back-to-back system with the humanitarian architecture for IDPs to ensure maximum efficiency for all partners and coherence between both systems.
UNHCR Colombia’s overarching strategy remains to provide protection services and humanitarian assistance, lead and coordinate response efforts to meet the most urgent needs of Venezuelan refugees and migrants, Colombian returnees and host communities. To this purpose, UNHCR Colombia works closely with the Colombian government, at national and local level, to help building protection capacity, as well as national and international non-governmental organizations as its implementing partners.