In 2013, UNICEF and partners plan for:
children and 4,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women have access to primary healthcare services
children provided with protective spaces where they can learn, play and receive psychosocial support
school-aged children including adolescents accessing quality education
2013 requirements (US$)
On 27 August 2012, the Government of Colombia officially announced the resumption of peace talks with the guerrilla movement Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC). Despite this encouraging development, Colombia’s humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate. Violence by non-state armed groups continues to increase, causing widespread human rights violations, mass displacements and constraints to humanitarian access.
A total of 3.9 million people have been registered as internally displaced persons between 1997 and 2011, with 155,692 newly displaced in 2011. An estimated 40 per cent of the displaced population are children. Displacement is caused by a wide range of factors, including: combats, massacres and threats; the presence of landmines; the recruitment of children and adolescents; sexual violence; and denied access to supplies. An estimated 35,000 people, 53 per cent of whom are women and girls, have been displaced between January and September 2012. The most affected departments are Cauca, Nariño, Putumayo and Chocó, accounting for 79 per cent of total mass displacements. Around 1,000 children have been affected by the suspension of classes. During 2012, 186 civilians, including 54 children, have been victims of antipersonnel landmines and explosive remnants of war of these, 40 died (13 children) and 146 were injured.1 Restrictions on freedom of movement imposed by the conflict are having a devastating effect on the civilian population in Choco and Putumayo. Rural communities have also been confined to their villages because armed groups have laid landmines in surrounding areas. Access to food and essential medicines has also been blocked, leading to increasing malnutrition levels, particularly in indigenous communities. Armed groups have occupied schools and used them as military bases. Several UN missions were suspended and humanitarian access to the area remains restricted in Cauca, Putumayo and Chocó.
Moreover, some areas of the country with high levels of armed conflict have also been affected by natural disasters, such as in Putumayo, where 95,000 people were affected by the flash floods and 53,000 by a storm.
Following peace talks with the FARC, guerrilla attacks have increased in southern and western regions, highlighting that the implementation and verification processes are likely to be lengthy and complex.
Planned results for 2013
2013 Programme Targets
- 1,500 children suffering from moderate and severe acute malnutrition provided with therapeutic and supplementary food
- 48,500 children under 5 and 4,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women provided with micronutrient supplementation
- 50,000 children and 4,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women affected by emergencies in rural areas have access to primary healthcare services
- 20,000 persons affected by internal displacement and natural disasters provided with safe water and sanitation facilities per agreed standards
- 20,000 emergency-affected persons benefiting from hygiene and sanitation promotion in schools and communities
- 10,000 children provided with protective spaces where they can learn, play and receive psychosocial support
- 80,000 children benefiting from strengthened mechanisms to prevent recruitment or use by armed forces or groups
- 40,000 people protected from accidents through mine-risk education programmes
- 20,000 school-aged children including adolescents accessing quality education (including in temporary schools structures)
UNICEF’s humanitarian action will be equity based and combine provision of basic services and supplies with policy advocacy to support local governments in developing and implementing programmes and projects for children and adolescents affected by emergencies. These include: i) Nutrition: scaling up and sustaining integrated community-based management of acute malnutrition for children under 5 by training community leaders and health promoters; providing essential emergency nutrition supplies such as micronutrients and therapeutic food distributed by trained health workers; promoting infant and young child feeding in emergencies with special emphasis on promoting breastfeeding; ii) Health: access to emergency health services, rehydration oral salts and essential medicines for most vulnerable children living in rural areas affected by emergencies; iii) WASH: the provision of safe water supplies and sanitation facilities to 20,000 people in target communities, with a special focus on prioritized primary schools and community centres for early child development; iv) Child protection: promoting the prevention of child recruitment into armed forces in the conflict; revising the current reintegration of demobilized children; providing mine risk education programmes to prevent accidents caused by landmines and unexploded ordnance; and psycho-social support with special emphasis on demobilized children and adolescents at higher risk of gender-based violence including sexual violence; and v) Education: flexible educational programmes in safe child-friendly learning spaces and the provision of educational supplies to 20,000 children, including those in temporary schools.
Results from 2012
UNICEF initially appealed for US$6.2 million and reduced the requirements in September 2012 to US$3,400,000, to cover urgent humanitarian needs for children for the remainder of 2012. As at 31 October 2012, UNICEF only received US$565,287 as emergency funding from the Central Emergency Response Fund ‘underfunded window’ in September and US$150,000 under the ‘rapid response window’ in October. UNICEF was able to achieve some significant results in early 2012, despite insufficient funding, owing to the use of re-allocated regular programming resources, drawing resources away from other regular programme components. Insufficient resources combined with high operational costs for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the large expanse of conflict-affected areas resulted in many needs not being met and many targets not being achieved. Access was particularly hindered along the Pacific coast, Colombia’s southern border regions and in the eastern part of the country.
UNICEF supported assistance to affected populations by providing: micronutrient supplements and treatment for 340 malnourished children under 5 in community-based therapeutic programmes; basic health services to prevent and cure diseases to 29,000 people; safe water and sanitation facilities for over 8,123; and education supplies and materials for 22,000 children. In addition, UNICEF is coordinating the work of Education and WASH sectorial groups, and co-leads the food security and nutrition sector. During 2012, UNICEF supported the national government's response to emergencies through a joint UN programme and provided direct care to 118,270 children in coordination with various UN agencies, NGOs and local authorities. Similarly, programmes have been developed and assistance has been provided to prevent the recruitment or use of children by non-state armed forces, as well as reduce the number of accidents resulting from landmines and unexploded ordnances. The Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism on grave violations against children in the framework of UN Security Council Resolution 1612 (2005) is also ongoing.
UNICEF funding requirements for 2013
UNICEF is appealing for US$5 million for humanitarian action in Colombia for 2012. Increased funds will be required to expand the coverage of programmes to prevent the recruitment of children into armed forces and groups, and to support those who have been demobilized. Another major task will be to strengthen the capacity in peacebuilding resolution to respond to the post conflict situation. Emergency assistance is also required for an integrated response for children and their families in the event of natural disasters, including major floods, landslides and droughts. 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 Presidential Programme on Comprehensive Mine Action, November 2012.