Colombia

Wilson, 10, stands in front of the CRS-supported Tamba health clinic that provides nutrition assistance to indigenous families. Photo by Jim Stipe/CRS

Wilson, 10, stands in front of the CRS-supported Tamba health clinic that provides nutrition assistance to indigenous families. Photo by Jim Stipe/CRS

Colombia's five-decade-old armed conflict and ongoing human rights violations have made it the country with the largest number of internally displaced people in the world. The armed conflict, which began in the 1960s, has displaced more than 4 million people. Children, women, indigenous people and Afro-Colombians, the poor and people with disabilities suffer most from displacement.

Catholic Relief Services is working to deliver humanitarian aid to Colombians and their host communities; meet needs for food and non-food assistance; provide psychological, social and legal assistance; and build the capacity of local governments to enable displaced Colombians, and the communities receiving them, to exercise their rights.

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Stats

Population:45,745,783 (July 2013 est.)
Size:439,735 sq. mi.; slightly less than twice the size of Texas
People Served:11,399 (2013 est.)

History

Catholic Relief Services has worked in Colombia for more than 50 years. In response to increased violence and widespread suffering, our work now focuses on capacity building for the Catholic Church's National Social Pastoral office CRS is currently supporting the following church-led efforts in Colombia:

  1. The observatory project in Bogotá: At the request of the Bishops' Conference this project was set up with the Social Pastoral office to provide accurate information and analysis on such key issues as land tenure, extractive industry activities and internal migration.
  2. Humanitarian aid response: This project is focused on the border regions between Colombia and Ecuador and helps people displaced by Colombia's armed conflict integrate into the communities receiving them.

CRS and the Church in Colombia believe peace in Colombia is possible. The Colombian bishops have called for international support for a negotiated path toward peace, policies that address underlying social and economic problems, and humanitarian aid for the millions of victims of the conflict. CRS has supported these church efforts for peace in Colombia. We work with other Catholic, ecumenical and civil society organizations to increase U.S. understanding of the complex situation in Colombia and encourage advocacy that responds to our Colombian Church partners' concerns.

Partners

The National Social Pastoral Office
Pastoral Social Ipiales and Pastoral Social Pasto

Programs

Education
Disaster Response
Peacebuilding


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