Map of Colombia
UNICEF Photo: Children in La Guajira department, Colombia, 2012. © UNICEF Colombia/2013/Clemencia Gomez Children in La Guajira department, Colombia, 2012.


In 2014, UNICEF and partners plan for:

people protected from accidents through mine risk education programmes


children benefiting from strengthened mechanisms to prevent recruitment or use by armed groups (Play for Peace)


children in humanitarian situations aged 6 to 59 months affected by complex emergencies have access to basic emergency nutritional services

2014 Requirements: US$5,000,000

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Total affected population: 372,365
Total affected children: 148,950

Total people to be reached in 2014: 84,000
Total children to be reached in 2014: 33,000

Forced displacement, murder, mutilation, gender-based violence, landmine accidents, and the recruitment of children and adolescents by armed groups are the unremittent consequences of the armed conflict in Colombia. Frequent natural disasters combined with violence related to armed conflict have left the country’s population extremely vulnerable. Ongoing peace talks between the Government of Colombia and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – Ejército del Pueblo (FARC-EP) have made progress on specific points but have so far failed to prevent the conflict´s devastating impacts on civilians. Between 1985 and June 2014, some 6.5 million people have been registered as victims of the armed conflict.1 In 2013 alone, 180,000 people were newly internally displaced, of which 40 per cent were children.2 During 2013, 368 people (including 165 civilians, 28 of whom were children) were killed or maimed in incidents related to landmines and unexploded ordnance.3 Natural disasters, particularly floods and landslides, affected 466,874 people in 2013.4 The confirmed presence of a strong El Niño phenomenon in 2014 has resulted in widespread drought in the north and northeast of the country, affecting subsistence farming families in particular.

Humanitarian strategy

2014 Revised Programme Targets


  • 2,800 children in humanitarian situations aged 6 to 59 months affected by complex emergencies have access to basic emergency nutritional services
  • 700 pregnant and lactating women in prioritized municipalities have access to nutritional care, including ORS, micronutrients and RUTF


  • 4,500 people (1,800 children) in humanitarian situations access water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene
  • 4,500 people (1,800 children) in humanitarian situations have appropriate sanitation facilities
  • 4,500 people (1,800 children) in humanitarian situations use appropriate hygiene practices

Child protection

  • 6,800 children in Meta, Guaviare, Putumayo, Caquetá, Nariño and Arauca benefit from comprehensive protection assistance including temporary protective spaces
  • 80,000 children benefiting from strengthened mechanisms to prevent recruitment or use by armed groups (Play for Peace)
  • 40,000 people protected from accidents through mine risk education programmes
  • 29 victims of APM/UXO/IED receive legal advice and assistance in the process of demanding the fulfilment of their rights. These victims also receive humanitarian assistance in order to guarantee medical attention and physical rehabilitation


  • 1,380 children and 30 teachers in extreme humanitarian situations access comprehensive care including Education in Emergencies.

In 2014, UNICEF continues to support the national response to the humanitarian needs of approximately 18,800 people (approximately 11,300 children) affected by armed conflict and natural disasters with different sectoral interventions. As lead agency of the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and education clusters, and member of the protection, food security and nutrition clusters, UNICEF has focused on strengthening the local and national capacities of government entities responsible for disaster risk reduction, preparedness and response. In line with its 2014-2017 strategic plan, UNICEF is providing water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene, appropriate sanitation facilities and environments free of open defecation, and supports communities to improve their hygiene practices. To facilitate continuous access to education in humanitarian situations, UNICEF continues to support national and local education systems, through teacher training, and supports a back-to-school strategy. UNICEF’s protection response strengthens the capacities of key institutions within the National Family Welfare System and the National Victims System to support 25,000 children at risk of recruitment and anti-personnel mines, through the creation of protective spaces, mine risk education, psychosocial support, provision of relevant non-food items, teacher and community-based training, emergency preparedness for children emphasizing critical survival skills, and other interventions. A comprehensive plan for preventive actions to stop recruitment of children is being drafted.

Results from 2014 (January to October)

UNICEF focused on supporting national and local governments’ humanitarian response for children affected by emergencies. UNICEF chose to focus on specific populations of extremely vulnerable children, particularly in areas doubly affected by natural disaster and conflict, as well as areas of Afro and indigenous populations who have among the lowest social indicators in the country. As the leader of the WASH cluster, UNICEF promoted a comprehensive approach, including access to water, proper management of excreta and solid waste systems to benefit 4,500 people (including 1,800 children) in schools and households in rural communities of Arauca and Chocó Departments. UNICEF provided student kits, recreational kits and school-in-a-box to support children, teachers and affected schools in the conflict affected area of Chocó Department, and supported the Ministry of Education to strengthen local contingency plans so that children affected by emergencies have access to school. UNICEF also supported a campaign for schools as protective spaces; improved school and sanitary infrastructure; and provided furniture and learning materials to rehabilitate learning spaces. UNICEF assumed a leadership role in the National Roundtable on Education in Emergencies and in promoting the International Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) minimum standards in humanitarian response. UNICEF provided emergency nutrition assistance (ready-to-use therapeutic food, micronutrients and support to breastfeeding) to the most vulnerable indigenous children and mothers in three departments of Chocó, Meta and Nariño. UNICEF also supported the National Institute of Family Welfare (ICBF) to develop and implement the protocol for community-based management of acute malnutrition in 17 of the 32 departments of the country. UNICEF trained local health promoters, community leaders and mobile units on health, nutrition and gender-sensitive service delivery in Meta, Guaviare, Nariño and Chocó. In the area of protection, UNICEF has supported the ICBF in developing guidelines for the protection programme for children released by non-state armed groups. UNICEF provided Mine Risk Education to at-risk communities in Meta, Guaviare, Nariño, Arauca, Caquetá and Putumayo. UNICEF also implemented programmes with children, such as Return to Happiness and Golombiao (the game for peace) to promote resilience, conflict resolution skills, tolerance and peaceful coexistence.

Funding requirements

UNICEF is requesting US$5 million to support the response to children affected by natural disasters and armed conflict. Basic supplies for primary health care, nutrition, education and the provision of safe water supplies, sanitation facilities and hygiene, as well as psychosocial support, are also urgently needed to uphold children’s rights.

1 Reported by the Government of Colombia, Unidad de Víctimas (UARIV).
2 OCHA, ‘Monthly Humanitarian Bulletin: Colombia’,
<>, accessed 13 December 2013.
3 Reported by the Presidential Programme on Mine Action (PAICMA):
4 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘Monthly Humanitarian Bulletin: Colombia’,
<>, accessed 13 December 2013.