The International Committee of the Red Cross Colombia delegation has published their annual report analysing the humanitarian situation in the country and the response of the ICRC.
In 2011, the delegation recorded an increase in some humanitarian problems such as forced displacement, threats, sexual violence, infractions to the norms which protect health care staff, and damage to private or public civilian property. Most of these cases were recorded in remotes areas in the country.
The ICRC reminds all parties to the conflict of the importance to respect and strictly apply humanitarian rules. Jordi Raich, Head of ICRC Colombia delegation explains: "The main concern of the ICRC is the continuation of the internal armed conflict and the humanitarian consequences such as the destruction of private property , increased displacement, and attacks and threats to medical staff."
Raich continues: "Many of these humanitarian consequences of conflict happen in what we call the "other Colombia"....rural Colombia, far away, places difficult to access, difficult to arrive to, and also there is another Colombia within our cities in, which suffer also the consequences of violence."
"In this other Colombia," says Raich, "it is not only the direct consequences of conflict. It is also because of the remoteness, the difficulty they have to access basic services like health and education. These remote villages can be very basic and very precarious, and when they need help outside is very difficult for them to get out of the places, and send the children to school or send the loved ones or the child to hospital for treatment"
In 2011, the ICRC continued putting into place a wide range of activities to assist and protect the population. All together 150,000 people benefited directly from these activities such as providing emergency assistance to newly displaced people, rebuilding infrastructure in schools, or in hospitals, to visiting those deprived of liberty in prisons or facilitating liberations of persons detained in relation to the conflict. Furthermore, there have been hundreds of thousands who have benefited indirectly from ICRC activities.
Video 1 - Jordi Raich, Head of Colombia ICRC Delegation - ENGLISH
Video 2 - Jordi Raich, Head of Colombia ICRC Delegation - SPANISH
Video 3 - ICRC Activities in Colombia