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Colombia: fighting forces 1,600 to flee

27-01-2006 News Release 06/05

Some 1,600 indigenous people have had to flee their homes in the department of Cauca, south-west Colombia, following an upsurge in armed clashes.

They are currently living in three locations. As often happens in such cases, they are experiencing health problems as a consequence of having been displaced. In addition, they are unable to obtain basic foods.

Yesterday, after assessing the situation, the ICRC and the Colombian Red Cross began handing out 14 tonnes of food, 240 mattresses and blankets, sheets, hygiene requisites and cooking utensils. The food should cover the basic needs of 349 families (1,600 people) for 15 days.

ICRC delegate Amaya Fernández is in charge of distribution. “The most important thing is food. Fighting has been going on for a week, preventing families from leading a normal life, which includes stocking up on food:”

The ICRC will continue to monitor the situation in case the people affected need more help.

 For further information, please contact:  

 Yves Heller, ICRC Bogotá, tel. +571 313 86 30 or +57 311 491 07 89  

 Annick Bouvier, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 24 58 or +41 79 217 32 24