Map of Colombia
UNICEF Photo © UNICEF/COL/Olga Lucía


UNICEF is requesting US$5.5 million to meet the humanitarian needs of children in Colombia in 2015.

In 2015, UNICEF and partners plan for:

children and 2,000 women access to micronutrients


children participate in mine risk education (MRE) programmes


children benefit from mechanisms to prevent recruitment by armed groups

2015 Requirements: US$5,500,000

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Total affected population: 4.8 million*
Total affected children: 1.8 million

Total people to be reached in 2015: 200,000
Total children to be reached in 2015: 76,000

With over six million registered displaced persons as a result of the fifty-plus year-old civil war, and 100,000 in 2014 alone, Colombia has one of the largest IDP populations of any country on the planet.1 Despite recent progress in the peace negotiations held in Havana, the armed conflict still generates important humanitarian needs. Nearly fifty percent of the more than seven million victims of the conflict officially registered by the Colombian Government’s Unit for the Attention of Victims are children. Key impacts on children include forced displacement, recruitment into armed groups, sexual violence (especially for girls), confinement/limitation of mobility, and death or mutilation from landmines and other explosive devices. In 20132, Colombia had the second largest number of child victims of landmines in the world. In addition, displaced, confined and affected communities lack safe access to water and sanitation, health care and nutrition, quality education and other basic services. Children remain especially vulnerable to violence, with indigenous and Afro-Colombian populations particularly vulnerable. Colombia’s acute El Niño-related drought affected health, nutrition, WASH, and livelihoods for some 5 million persons in the north.

Humanitarian strategy

2015 Programme Targets


  • 10,000 children and 2,000 women have access to feeding appropriate for infant and young child feeding (IYCF)
  • 10,000 children and 2,000 women access to micronutrients
  • 3,000 Children with acute malnutrition access appropriate Community-based Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM)


  • 10,000 Children and 2,000 women, access essential health services with sustained coverage of high impact preventive and curative interventions (Integrated Management of Children Illness)
  • 10,000 children and 2,000 women have access to behaviour change communication interventions aimed at improving health care and feeding practices


  • 20,000 people (8,000 school children) access water of appropriate quality and sufficient quantity for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene
  • 5,000 people (2,000 school children) access toilets and washing facilities that are culturally appropriate, secure and sanitary, and are user friendly and gender appropriate
  • 20,000 people (8,000 school children) receive critical WASH related information to prevent child illness, especially diarrhoea

Child protection

  • 20,000 children participate in mine risk education (MRE) programmes
  • 100 adults trained as MRE trainers
  • 50 APM-UXO-IED victims (of whom 20 are children) receive humanitarian and legal advice
  • 50,000 children benefit from mechanisms to prevent recruitment by armed groups
  • 500 public servants of National System of Family Welfare are trained to respond appropriately in cases of sexual violence in emergency contexts


  • 2,000 school-aged children including adolescents access quality education (including temporary schools)
  • 50 teachers are trained in education in emergencies

UNICEF’s action will support the three-pronged approach outlined in Colombia’s Strategic Response Plan 2015, including saving lives, supporting resilience and sustainable solutions, and promoting an effective response that puts protection first. Response sectors will include WASH, nutrition/health, education in emergencies, and child protection. Even as the peace negotiations make progress, UNICEF and partners will address the most vulnerable and under-served groups, including indigenous, Afro-Colombian and rural communities. UNICEF will lead the WASH cluster, provide water distribution systems or tankering, water treatment and safe storage supplies, and rehabilitate school and community water systems. In nutrition, UNICEF will access vulnerable conflict- or disaster-affected communities with emergency feeding programmes and micronutrients for children, pregnant and lactating women. UNICEF will lead the Education in Emergencies cluster and enhance quality education in targeted communities with supplies, training and minor rehabilitation of schools to permit a rapid recovery and return to normalcy. In child protection, UNICEF’s work will focus on the prevention of the impacts of the armed conflict on children: landmine accidents; recruitment and use by armed groups; and sexual violence.

Results from 2014

With US$1,625,692 of funds available (of which US$114,771 were carried forward from 2013), or roughly 32.5 per cent of the US$5 million 2014 appeal available, UNICEF targeted the most vulnerable communities in nine departments. As WASH cluster lead, UNICEF provided safe drinking water, proper management of excreta and solid waste systems to benefit 10,475 people (including 4,000 children) in schools and rural households, along with hygiene promotion. UNICEF led the education cluster and helped the Ministry to strengthen local contingency plans, support schools as protective spaces; provide furniture and learning materials; and rehabilitate learning spaces. In nutrition, UNICEF provided ready-to-use therapeutic food, micronutrients and promotion of breastfeeding for the most vulnerable indigenous children and mothers in three departments. It also supported the National Institute of Family Welfare (ICBF) to develop and run community-based management of acute malnutrition in 17 out of 32 departments. In child protection, UNICEF provided mine risk education and support to victims, developed guidelines to protect children released by non-state armed groups and supported use of protective environments to prevent recruitment.

Funding requirements

In line with the country’s inter-agency 2015 Strategic Response Plan, UNICEF is requesting US$5,500,000 to meet the humanitarian needs of children in Colombia in 2015. With this funding UNICEF will be able to support the national response to address the impacts of the long-standing armed conflict. Activities in each sector will complement Government activities, accessing under-served areas and/or providing innovative models for replication by national and local authorities.

1 Colombian Victims Unit (UARIV):
2 International Campaign to Ban Landmines, 2013.