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Colombia - Growing need for humanitarian aid

25-04-2002 News Release 17

With the armed conflict in Colombia worsening, the civilian population is increasingly in need of humanitarian aid.

The ICRC has responded to the situation by stepping up its protection and assistance activities for conflict victims. Last week, as part of its emergency operation for displaced people, it provided food and other supplies for 711 people (152 families) who had fled Isla Coco and Galeras, two small towns in the northern department of Sucre.

In Sincelejo, the department's capital, the ICRC has built, with the help of the community, a primary school and a canteen that serve over 180 needy children from Altos del Rosario, an area where 7,000 displaced people have been living for the past three years. The school and canteen, which will help alleviate the problems of malnutrition and lack of educational facilities, are sustainable projects run by the community.

To date, the ICRC has carried out 62 rehabilitation projects (clinics, schools) and productive micro-projects in various parts of the country. It is currently implementing 29 more such projects.