COLOMBIA

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Situation

Nearly 66 massacres resulting in 255 deaths and the assassination of 120 human rights defenders have been documented in Colombia since the beginning of 2020, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights announced on Tuesday, calling on the Colombian authorities to take “concrete measures to protect the population in a climate of increased violence in remote areas.” (ONU 15.12.2020)

In Magangué (Bolivar region), the organization Atucsara continues its work with populations displaced by the armed conflict and consolidated in the communities of Yati, Nueva Colombia, Santa Fe, La Peña and Barranca Yuca. With the support of the friendly association Catleya , its project aims at the autonomy and sustainable development of these communities. Vivere has been supporting Atucsara’s actions for 17 years.

Following̀ the Covid-19 epidemic, a health emergency waś declared with mandatory national quarantine restrictions from March 2020 as a preventive measure against the coronavirus. These measures have affected́ the informal economy, as more than 50% of the Colombian population lives from work on a daily basis. In Magangue and the rural communities that are part of the project, the population lives informally and in conditions of great vulnerabilitý and did not know what to do to survive during the days of isolation. The project manager writes: “In relation to the pandemic, the situation is critical in Magangue, unemployment is very high, no money coming in to the families. People do not have enough money to buy the necessary food, they are desperate for 50 cents…”. During the first wave more than 400 emergency humanitarian aid items with food were delivered thanks to the support of Catleya/Fedevaco/Basaid. This support is still needed and is receiving a positive response from Vivere.

Objectives

Humanitarian aid for 150 families in difficulty in the communities of Yati, Nueva Colombia, Santa Fe, La Peña and Barranca Yuca (Magangue, Colombia), implemented by Atucsara.

Partner: Atucsara

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Achievements 2020

Survey carried out in December: identification of 150 of the most vulnerable families to receive emergency assistance in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The selection of families to receive support is made through a socio-economic characterization form. Priority is given to large families with high levels of precariousness, as these are the groups most affected, as these large households consume only one or two meals a day and do not have an economic cushion to cope with the crisis caused by Covid-19 (their situation before the pandemic was already vulnerable).

In response, and as an emergency measure, humanitarian aid in kind (markets) will be provided to mitigate the economic impact caused by the emergency. In December, a survey is being carried out to identify the priority families for this aid (those in greatest difficulty). Some of these goods are purchased from the project’s farmers who, in this context, have not been able to market their products. This helps to strengthen the local economy, ensuring an income for them and their families.

The humanitarian aid thus includes non-perishable foodstuffs and good quality organic food́ which, in turn, improves the diet of the beneficiary families. The message from the field: each market symbolizing an embrace of hope and solidarity. The distribution of the “markets” planned in December will finally take place in March 2021.