European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

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Colombia: bringing healthcare to remote rural communities affected by conflict

For the last 50 years, Colombia’s civilian population suffered the humanitarian consequences of an internal armed conflict that internally displaced 8 million people. The 2016 Peace Agreements could not achieve putting an end to the armed violence: the UN calculates that more than 500,000 people have been displaced since then.

Communities living in rural and remote areas are the most affected by the conflict. They are victims of forced internal displacement, restrictions on mobility, threats, homicides, landmines, and forced recruitment.

Their lives are in constant danger; they struggle to access basic services or earn a living. The COVID-19 pandemic has also further complicated their conditions.

With EU humanitarian funding, the Spanish Red Cross, the German Red Cross, and the Colombian Red Cross joined forces to deploy mobile health units in confined communities affected by violence, with a particular focus on indigenous communities.

Thanks to this EU-funded initiative, more than 20,000 people have received primary health and protection services, including psychological support and activities for health prevention.

Story by the Spanish Red Cross Delegation in Colombia and Ruth Silva, EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Photos: © Colombia Red Cross (Antioquia Branch).

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