Search

 

Cablegate: Icrc/Wfp Assessment of Idp Conditions and Aid

VZCZCXYZ0010
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHBO #0172/01 0141339
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141339Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0915
INFO RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 9769
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ JAN 9172
RUEHPE/AMEMBASSY LIMA PRIORITY 5780
RUEHZP/AMEMBASSY PANAMA PRIORITY 1076
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO PRIORITY 6487
RUEHSJ/AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE PRIORITY 4708
RUEHGL/AMCONSUL GUAYAQUIL PRIORITY 4263
RHMFISS/12AF DAVIS MONTHAN AFB AZ PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 1528

UNCLAS BOGOTA 000172

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

SECSTATE FOR PRM, GENEVA FOR RMA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM PREF PREL ICRC CO
SUBJECT: ICRC/WFP ASSESSMENT OF IDP CONDITIONS AND AID
DELIVERY IN EIGHT COLOMBIAN CITIES


-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)
delegation and the World Food Program (WFP) mission released
a study of the humanitarian response to internally displaced
persons (IDPs) in Colombia. The two-year study, conducted in
eight municipalities with the highest IDP populations, cited
a need for more of the displaced to receive psycho-social
support. In addition, the study concluded that the GOC and
local authorities need to provide IDPs with more access to
training and income generation programs, more help in
obtaining housing subsidies, and improved access to education
and health systems. The GOC welcomed the results of the
study. END SUMMARY.

2. On December 13, the ICRC and WFP presented its two-year
study of the living conditions of IDPs - as well as the local
humanitarian response - in eight Colombian cities
(Barranquilla, Bogota, Cartagena, Florencia, Medellin, Santa
Marta, Sincelejo and Villavicencio). These are eight of the
nine Colombian urban areas with the largest IDP populations.
In total, the account for 563,000 registered IDPs (about 25 %
of the total number in the GOC registry).

--------------------------------
METHODOLOGY AND OVERALL FINDINGS
--------------------------------

3. In the study, ICRC/WFP surveyed a sample of the IDP
populations with questions that probed eight conditions:
physical/mental status of the IDPs, emergency attention (1st
90 days) they received, the perception of security, housing,
access to health care, education, participation in income
generation and training opportunities, and protection of
forcibly abandoned property (land). After identifying issues
from the survey, the assessment team met with IDP groups, IDP
leaders, local authorities, and humanitarian actors in each
municipality. Prior to the public roll-out, the ICRC/WFP
team reviewed the results with GOC's Accion Social and key
local authorities in all municipalities.

4. Christina Oberli, ICRC Colombia's Assistance Coordinator,
told the Refugee Coordinator that the purpose of the study
was to raise awareness of the specific needs of IDPs and
advise local, departmental and national authorities-- as well
as international organizations--where additional resources
are necessary. The study found that while the institutional
structure of IDP attention was sound, there were gaps in both
delivery and coverage. Problems included:

- Overall, authorities must improve communication with IDPs
on how to access and obtain services. Increased funding and
resources for IDP service centers - Unidades de Atencion y
Orientacion (UAO) -- was recommended.
- Large numbers of IDPs in Cartagena, Santa Marta and
Villavicencio choose not to register with public ministries
that they have been displaced, due to lack of knowledge and
fear of retaliation by illegal armed groups.
- While a vast majority of registered IDPs access some form
of basic Emergency Humanitarian Attention (food, hygiene
kits, bedding, rent subsidies and health care), the
percentage of un-registered IDPs that receive aid ranged from
40% in Sincelejo to 0% in Barranquilla and Medellin.
- The health sector was one of the better areas of IDP
attention in all municipalities, but the IDPs surveyed
reported problems in obtaining health care subsidies in
Barranquilla, Bogota and Santa Marta.
- Bogota, Medellin and Sincelejo are expanding their funding
of humanitarian aid through local development plans that
bundle local, departmental, national and international
private and public resources to address social and economic
needs. The other five municipalities have incorporated
longer-term development plans for IDPs in their local
planning.

6. During the study period, Villavicencio was the
municipality in need of the greatest overall improvement in
its attention to IDPs. The United Nations High Commissioner
for Refugees (UNHCR) and International Organization for

Migration (IOM) in recent months they have worked with
authorities in Villavicencio to make significant improvements
in the quality and condition of the UAO and the overall
service delivered to IDPs.

--------------------------------------------
Emergency Humanitarian Attention (AHE) Needs
--------------------------------------------

7. The study found most IDPs received AHE from Accion Social
and its implementing partner CHF International. Other key
assistance organizations include the ICRC, Pastoral Social
and a range of civil society groups also provide AHE.
Overall, the quality and coordination of basic AHE to IDPs
functions well, needing only minor improvements in specific
municipalities. Medellin, considered by many UN
organizations as providing model services to IDPs, was
identified as the municipality that needs to make the
greatest improvements in providing basic AHE. The study
rates food assistance programs in all eight locations as
functioning well with respect to opportunity, adequacy and
quality, but calls for improvements in the delivery of food
aid after the first 90 days. In general, ICRC said the 60-70%
of adults and 25% of children consume less than three meals a
day.

8. The study noted that IDP access to psycho-social services
required improvement in all eight municipalities. Part of
the problem is that while many say that they need
pyscho-social attention, few IDPs request or participate in
it. Even after psycho-social support is offered, many IDPs
opt out of participating, preferring to focus on returning to
work or improving their economic situation. The problem is
most acute in Barranquilla, Cartagena, Florencia, Medellin,
Santa Marta, and Sincelejo. The study recommends that
psycho-social attention occur in the initial contact that
humanitarian actors have with IDPs (most NGOs already do
this) and that additional analysis and coordination on the
unique mental health needs of IDP families be made.

--------------------------------------
Long-Term Economic Stabilization Needs
--------------------------------------

9. The study cited two areas that require immediate attention
after the first 90 days: access to housing assistance and
greater income generation (IG)/training opportunities. In
all locations except Bogota and Medellin, the study
recommends an expansion of housing subsidy programs for IDPs.
The study notes that only 20% of IDP households participate
in IG programs, and recommends increasing IDP access to and
involvement in training programs in all eight municipalities.
The study praised the overall quality of IG programs.

10. In addition to assistance delivery, the study examined
IDPs' ability to regain land which they were forced to
abandon due to the conflict. 40-67% of IDPs reported being
forced off their lands, but only 50% have made official
requests to regain their property to the GOC's land agency,
INCODER. IDPs fail to make these requests because of:
ignorance of where and how to declare lost property, lack of
documentation (no title to the property), and fear of
retaliation from armed groups as the IDP's name will appear
on a public list. The study recommends that the GOC develop
new alternatives to help IDPs return to their abandoned
homes. It should be noted that GOC land protection/recovery
program are slowly beginning to take shape. The Ministry of
Agriculture and Rural Development recently rolled out its
Programa de Recuperacion de Tierras (PRORET) - a pilot
program with funding from USAID's Alternative Development
program - that seeks to help IDPs, especially Afro-Colombians
and Indigenous displaced, to recover forcibly abandoned
properties.

------------
GOC Reaction
------------

11. The GOC welcomed the study's findings. Accion Social's
Program Director Diego Molano said the study provides a good
base line of data that national and local authorities can use

to improve their overall response. Accion Social added that
they appreciated both the objectivity of the study and the
opportunity to provide the ICRC and WFP with feedback prior
to its public roll-out.
Brownfield

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC