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Colombia: Humanitarian assistance continues on the Guaviare

04-09-2002 News Release 02/36

On 27 July the residents of Puerto Alvira, a little village situated on the banks of the Guaviare river in the Department of Meta, saw their peace shattered by the ongoing struggle between warring factions to gain control of the region. As a result, they were forced to flee to a number of towns along the river.

Thanks to its role as a neutral intermediary, the ICRC has been able to maintain a constant presence in the area so as to meet the needs of the displaced population.

As part of an initial survey, the organization took down information on 1,300 persons displaced from Puerto Alvira, who were then provided with emergency assistance between 5 and 9 August. It also delivered 1,542 food parcels and 529 hygiene kits to 1,855 individuals (454 families) in El Mielón, La Rompida, Mocuare, Rancho Solo, Mata Bambú, El Olvido and the town centre of San José del Guaviare.

On 26 August, a combined team of ICRC delegates and volunteers from the Colombian Red Cross travelled to the area for a further delivery of emergency assistance to the displaced population of Puerto Alvira. The team shipped 12 tonnes of supplies down the Guaviare, distributing 1,062 food parcels, 560 kits with hygiene items and cooking utensils and 400 mosquito nets among 1,721 displaced individuals (537 families) in La Rompida, Mocuare, Mata Bambú, El Olvido, Mitare, Caño Yamú and Ceiba.

A further survey will shortly be conducted in the area with a view to collecting information on those newly displaced and meeting their assistance needs.