As a result of the dispute between different armed groups, thousands of people have suffered violent attacks, while entire communities have been displaced or live for months confined in their homes.
In addition to the humanitarian situation generated by the armed conflict, Colombia has also received a massive number of migrants from Venezuela in recent years, currently hosting more than 2.5 million people, many in precarious situations.
We currently have three projects in Colombia. In Barabcoas, Nariño, we focus on community health; in Alto Baudó, Chocó, our teams are focused on emergency care and community health. In the Darien jungle, on the Panamanian side, we focus on emergency care for thousands of migrants (100,000 from January to August 2022) who cross the tropical forest between Colombia and Panama.
In all of our projects in Colombia, we also include sexual and reproductive health care to guarantee safe abortion for women who need it.
Voices from the field
I see the need for these people to be protected and for the creation of safe routes for migrants.HELMER CHARRIS, MSF PROJECT COORDINATOR, PANAMA
Our activities in 2021 in Colombia
Data and information from the International Activity Report 2022.
In the departments of Nariño and Chocó, MSF has been implementing a decentralised model of care, aiming to make healthcare more accessible by bringing it closer to people’s homes.
In Nariño, MSF worked with a team of community health workers and local organisations to provide general and mental health care to communities affected by armed conflict in rural areas of the Telembí triangle sub-region (Barbacoas, Roberto Payán and Magüí Payán). We also supported people who had been displaced by continued armed conflicts by distributing relief items, such as hygiene and cooking kits, and offering healthcare through mobile clinics, as well as water and sanitation activities.
In 2022, we launched a new project in the Alto Baudó region in Chocó, where there were repeated clashes between armed groups, severely limiting access to healthcare, food and education for rural communities. Over the course of the year, we made hundreds of medical referrals and conducted training sessions with community health workers from remote villages in the region who work to facilitate access to health services for their communities.
In our emergency response project, we supported communities affected by the armed conflict in Chocó, Cauca and Arauca, mainly in areas where there is no humanitarian assistance. We sent mobile clinics to provide medical care and mental health support, as well as water and sanitation services.
MSF continues to call on the authorities to make healthcare more available in remote areas of Colombia, especially for communities displaced or confined by violence.