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Colombia: Emergency relief for 14,000 people in Antioquia

26-11-2013 News Release 13/208

Bogotá/Geneva (ICRC) – The ICRC and the Colombian Red Cross have delivered aid to around 14,000 people in the town of Puerto Claver and in rural settlements around the city of El Bagre, Antioquia department. Communities in these areas are currently plagued by a lack of food as a result of conflict.

“The population of Puerto Claver has endured severe food shortages for at least a month now, as violence in the area has brought trade to a standstill,” said ICRC delegate Begoña Piñeiros. “Together with the Colombian Red Cross, we have brought assistance both to people who have been forced to flee Puerto Claver and to those who have stayed.”

Since 20 November, the two organizations have been jointly distributing food (rice, beans, lentils, oil and sugar) and hygiene kits. 461 people who fled Puerto Claver for the city of El Bagre have, in addition to these items, received sleeping mats and basic cooking utensils. The ICRC has also improved the water and sanitation services of the shelter in which they are staying for the time being.

The ICRC will continue to monitor the humanitarian situation in the area, with a view to meeting the needs of the local population. The organization reminds all parties to the conflict of their obligation to spare civilians and to grant them unimpeded access to food and other items essential for their survival.

For further information, please contact:
Patricia Rey, ICRC Bogotá, tel: +57 311 491 07 89; Twitter: @PReyICRC
Faruk Samán, ICRC Medellín, tel: +57 313 433 66 08
Alexis Heeb, ICRC Geneva, tel: +41 79 218 76 10; Twitter: @AHeebICRC