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UNHCR launches appeal for Colombia displaced

Briefing notes

UNHCR launches appeal for Colombia displaced

19 February 2007

UNHCR is today issuing a $14 million appeal to fund our work in 2007 for hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the armed conflict in Colombia. The 2007 funds will cover UNHCR's protection and assistance activities for internally displaced people (IDPs), which directly benefit some 350,000 people. In addition, our work to protect the rights of all displaced people in Colombia indirectly benefits some 3 million IDPs.

Colombia's complex internal conflict has resulted in the deaths of more than 40,000 people since 1990, most of them civilians. Over 3 million people have been forced from their homes by violence, persecution or gross human rights violations. Last year alone, more than 170,000 people were forced to flee. Hundreds of thousands have crossed into the surrounding countries or further afield.

UNHCR's overall objective in Colombia is to promote a collaborative and comprehensive response to what has been described as one of the world's most serious humanitarian crises. This entails preventing displacement, ensuring protection and humanitarian assistance for displaced people and fostering durable solutions for them, bearing in mind the special needs of specific groups. The way to achieve this goal is by promoting a more effective response by the state and civil society to this crisis, which affects millions of Colombians.

In some parts of Colombia, the armed conflict makes it difficult for humanitarian agencies to reach affected communities. The presence of armed groups has reportedly increased in border areas, while the presence of landmines is another serious constraint. In 2006, our financial requirements for Colombia amounted to approximately $12.8 million.