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Colombians flocking to Bogotá need more help

Rural Colombians flocking to Bogotá need more help - UN refugee agency

The number of people fleeing rural conflicts and taking shelter in Colombia's capital, Bogotá, has skyrocketed, but they have had little or no assistance with integration into city life, according to a report issued by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).

As a result of this study, conducted in conjunction with the private sector group, Bogotá Como Vamos, UNHCR will provide technical and financial support for a national workshop from 29 to 31 October, at which representatives of indigenous organizations can discuss with government agencies how best to help their communities.

The publication, "Displaced Population in Bogotá: A Responsibility for Everyone," includes papers given at a forum last November by government agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and service organizations looking after internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Official figures show that the number of people leaving villages for Bogotá since 1995 now totals about 400,000. Of these, 75 per cent have received emergency assistance, but only 19 per cent got help with income-generating projects and only 4 per cent received housing subsidies.

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