Part III
Coordination Activities in the Field

Colombia

 

 

  Requirements 2,894,174  
  Income from Voluntary Contributions1 1,947,733  
  EXPENDITURE    
  Staff Costs 1,582,921  
  Consultant Fees and Travel  
  Travel 124,600  
  Operating Expenses 283,799  
  Contractual Services 31,485  
  Supplies, Materials, Furniture and Equipment 113,950  
  Fellowships, Grants and Contributions 35,400  
  Programme Support Costs 282,380  
  Total Expenditure (US$) 2,454,535  
1 Includes allocations from the Field Coordination Reserve Fund of US$ 125,000

 

Context

Despite improved economic indicators reported in 2006 and a reduction in human rights violations and crime, Colombia ranks among the most violent countries in the world and remains mired in social inequalities and a protracted, 45-year-old armed conflict.

The key humanitarian concerns of 2006 were the protection of over 100,000 newly displaced people and landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW). With 1,103 victims during 2006, Colombia has the highest rate of new landmine and ERW victims worldwide. In addition up to 13,000 children are child soldiers. Fifty-seven communities (more than 30,000 individuals) reported confinement due to the presence and actions of illegal armed groups, and no less than 5,000 indigenous people were forced to flee from their homes. In 2006, natural disasters affected over 500,000 people and the national authorities and United Nations system have been on high alert to the possible eruption of the Galeras volcano, which has the potential to affect the departmental capital, Pasto.

In 2006 the second phase of the paramilitary Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration process was completed, with over 30,000 people demobilized. There were also some steps towards a peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the National Liberation Army. However, the ongoing conflict and appearance of new illegal armed bands throughout the country resulted in persistent violations of International Humanitarian Law and human rights.

OCHA in Colombia has a central office in Bogotá along with three sub-offices and three satellite offices, which ensure enhanced coordination among United Nations agencies and the humanitarian community.

Objectives

Activities and Accomplishments

Under the HC’s lead and with the full support of OCHA, an IASC-CT was established in July 2006. The group is comprised of eight United Nations agencies and key INGOs, including ECHO and Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement representatives as observers. The steadily increased participation of NGOs and the establishment of an information-sharing platform ensured broader coordination of the humanitarian response, including more focused attention on the cross-cutting issues of gender and HIV/AIDS.

OCHA’s Information Management Unit and the Humanitarian Situation Room provided consistent monitoring of humanitarian variables in Colombia, including the maintenance of the largest ‘Who Does What Where’ database in the country. The database includes details of many victims’ organizations, and it was used extensively by the National Commission for Reparation and Reconciliation. The HSR’s geo-referenced information systems consolidated, analysed and disseminated over 180 socio-economic and conflict and natural disaster-related variables, and provided a mapping service. This baseline information helped to develop planning and preparedness of the humanitarian community in Colombia during 2006.

OCHA continued with a training activity started in 2005 to strengthen its counterparts’ coordination capacities. In association with the United Nations Department of Safety and Security and the Spanish International Cooperation Agency (Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional), and with the participation of UNIFEM, OCHA organized eight workshops on Effective Mechanisms for Humanitarian Coordination and Individual Risk Reduction. A total of 360 organizations participated.

OCHA coordinated over 100 inter-institution needs assessment missions (involving local ombudsmen’s offices, United Nations agencies, NGOs and local authorities) in 39 areas directly affected by conflict, addressing protection issues and aiming at more efficient humanitarian response. In particular the needs assessment conducted in Chocó, Norte de Santander and Nariño led to the mobilization of US$ 2.2 million through the CERF for the implementation of three emergency projects (over 50,000 beneficiaries) by IOM, UNHCR and the Pan-American Health Organization.

OCHA reactivated and coordinated the joint United Nations Emergency Technical Team (UNETE), which supported the finalization of a United Nations preparedness plan for natural disasters and provided technical assistance to national and departmental structures in responding to the Galeras volcano and victims of the 2006 rainy and winter seasons.

Performance Evaluation