The peace agreement ending the armed conflict, which lasted more than half a century and left hundreds of thousands dead, disappeared and millions internally displaced, is already five years old. But the finding is the slow pace of implementation of the measures of this process and the concern about the violence that continues to be suffered by former members of the FARC-EP, social leaders and communities in the country (according to UN). In 2021, violations of international law and human rights committed in the context of the armed conflict have multiplied in certain regions. Violence, arbitrary detentions, murders targeting human rights defenders, peasant leaders, disappearances of former combatants and displacement of the population continue to be denounced.
In Magangué (Bolivar region), the organisation Atucsara continues its work with populations displaced in 5 communities. Vivere has been supporting Atucsara‘s actions for 18 years. Its project, implemented with the support of the friendly association Catleya, aims at the autonomy and sustainable development of these communities.
The health emergency declared as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic, with mandatory national quarantine restrictions from March 2020 as a preventive measure, have affected́ the informal economy, as more than 50% of the Colombian population lives from daily work. In Magangue and the rural communities that are part of the project, the population lives informally and in conditions of great vulnerability and do not know what to do to survive during the days of isolation. The project manager wrote in 2020: “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, integrated into the overall action, advocacy and political, citizen and community participation, prevention of sexual and commercial exploitation of children and adolescents, focus on food security and peace building.
Humanitarian aid for 150 families in difficulty in the framework of the sustainable development project and in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Communities of Yati, Nueva Colombia, Santa Fe and La Peña (Magangue)
The survey, carried out in December 2020 using a socio-economic characterisation form, identified 150 of the most vulnerable families to whom emergency humanitarian aid could be provided. Priority was given to large families with high levels of precariousness as these are the groups most affected. 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).
To mitigate the economic impact caused by the emergency, humanitarian aid in kind (markets) was provided. On 4 and 18 March, 75 separate families each day received non-perishable food and good quality organic food which in turn improves the diet of the beneficiaries. As the beneficiary families had an average of 6 members (between 4-11), this support reached a total of 801 people.
Some of the food was purchased from the project’s farmers who, in this context, were unable to market their products. This strengthens the local economy, providing a bit of income for them and their families.