IOM, in partnership with strategic actors, is strengthening institutional and community capacities on preparedness and response for emergency or crisis situations, including public health emergencies, in order to reduce the risks and vulnerabilities of affected populations - including internally displaced persons (IDPs), former combatants, migrants and host communities - and supports sustainable recovery, community stabilization and peacebuilding at national and local levels. The humanitarian, recovery and peacebuilding response strategies are part of the IOM Colombia Country Programme for 2021-2024 - approved by the Government of Colombia (GoC) - in Strategic Area: 1) Stabilization, Peace with legality; Strategic Area 2; Migration as a development factor, and; Strategic Area 3) Technical Assistance for the acceleration of catalyst Sustainable Development Goals.
Migrants, refugees, government counterparts, communities, IDPs, people affected by disasters and vulnerable groups such as children, pregnant women, female-single-headed household, older persons, persons with disabilities, indigenous communities, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities, and persons affected by COVID-19.
IOM aims to improve access to life-saving primary health care services for migrants and refugees from Venezuela, other migrants and host communities, IDPs and vulnerable populations. IOM will aim to address health concerns relating to tuberculosis (TB), COVID-19, HIV/AIDS, non-communicable diseases, MHPSS, and sexual and reproductive health, through:
- Assistance to local hospitals for strengthened primary health services, including sexual and reproductive health assistance and services for survivors of GBV and trafficking in persons (TiP), through the provision of human resources, personal protective equipment and furniture and equipment, and training of professionals on the provision of migrant-friendly primary health care services.
- Community-based mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) for individuals or families, in line with the IOM Manual on Community-Based Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Emergencies and Displacement.
- Provision of information on preventative hygiene and respiratory measures, symptoms and care for COVID-19.
- Facility-based and COVID-19 community event-based surveillance strenghtening through trainings to community leaders from Health Community Networks, to identiffy sympthons, and respiratory screenings.
- Strengthening of community networks with materials and capacity building to support the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.
- Enhancement of Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) in health care settings, and risk communication activities as a response to COVID-19.
- Promotion of access to vaccines for COVID-19, supporting vaccine supply chain management; providing vaccine service delivery with mass campaigns and routine immunization programmes; strengthening data collection and monitoring; and trainings for vaccinators and supervisors on proper infection prevention and control, supply chain management and data collection.
- A communication campaign to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Training in basic MHPSS skills like Psychological First Aid, Active listening, Intercultural communication, and basic knowledge on mental health and psychosocial support to benefit affected communities.
IOM will implement the promotion and education on hygiene for migrants, refugees, hosting communities and minority ethnic groups, through the:
- Provision of awareness-raising activities.
- Distribution of hygiene supplies, such as handwashing, hygiene and biosecurity kits and infrastructure, including toilets and water tanks, in spontaneous settlements, centres for migrant assistance, and schools, all in alignment with national COVID-19 prevention guidelines.
- Maintenance and repair of water supply systems (cleaning and maintenance of wells, maintenance and repair of pumps with solar panels).
- Delivery of water, provision of water filters at the household level and training on its correct use and the cleaning and maintenance of pumping systems, all in alignment with national COVID-19 prevention guidelines.
To support the basic needs, including food needs, of the affected population, IOM plans to:
- Improve the access to food for migrants and refugees in need at the border and urban areas. This includes the provision of food kits and hot meals. Assistance will be provided through in-kind distributions and cash-based interventions, such as food vouchers and prepaid cards.
- Improve or construct food preparation spaces, and distribute children lunch boxes for when they go back to school.
- Provide multipurpose cash-based interventions to ensure that paying for rent, energy bills and households’ items, as well as public transportation, is possible.
IOM will support the Governments' assistance to Colombian returnees from Venezuela through:
- Supporting the provision of civil registration and other identification documents required by Colombian returnees.
IOM plans to strengthen humanitarian movement assistance in order to ensure migrants and refugees’ safe, voluntary and dignified movements, through:
- Supporting humanitarian border-to-border transport for refugees and migrants in transit to third countries through the provision of transportation services and/or purchase of tickets.
- Provision of local transportation, including buses, vans, cars, and transport vouchers/cash, to allow refugees and migrants to access basic services.
IOM's emergency interventions will prioritise vulnerable groups, such as children, pregnant women, female-single-headed household, older persons, persons with disabilities, those at high risk of trafficking and exploitation, indigenous communities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) communities who face significant risks while on the move and in receiving countries, among others. The safety, dignity and well-being of all crisis-affected persons, especially women and girls, and their equitable access to services will be prioritised, integrated and coordinated across all sectors of the response. To achieve this IOM will:
- Strengthen Communication with Communities and Accountability to Affected Population structures.
- Strengthen and expand child protection mechanisms through capacity building of stakeholders, awareness on rights and self-protection among children, the provision of specialized child protection services and access to restitution.
- Implement capacity building, sensitization and awareness-raising activities to facilitate the prevention, identification, response, and protection of GBV/TiP survivors and the prosecution of perpetrators.
- Provide comprehensive and integrated assistance to survivors and those at risk of GBV /TiP.
As part of the response to migrants and refugees from Venezuela, IOM will implement the following activities in coordination with national and local authorities:
- Provide accommodation assistance in temporary accommodation centres to migrants and refugees on the move.
- Distribute non-food items (NFIs) through in-kind or cash assistance, according to the target populations' needs including hygiene kits, amongst others. Brochures and other information materials will be distributed along with the kits to promote personal hygiene.
- Strengthen technical capacities of local partners and public officials to effectively manage temporary accommodation centres, including on cross-cutting themes such a GBV and protection against sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA).
Address the drivers and longer term impacts of crises and displacement through investments in recovery and crisis prevention
Migrants, refugees, indigenous communities, government counterparts, communities, health professionals, as well as local and national entities. The activities will also benefit survivors of violence, former combatants, local populations who have access to the System of Truth, Justice and Reparation, and children and youth benefitting from GBV prevention projects.
Despite the many gains, peace and stability are negatively affected by the recidivism of former combatants, institutional weakness and recruitment of children and adolescents by non-state armed groups. Aligned with government-led processes, IOM will contribute to peacebuilding through:
- Support to former combatants and their families with income generation activities, gender-based violence (GBV) prevention, and strategies to overcome stigmatization and promote coexistence in targeted communities
- Technical assistance to the entities comprising the Comprehensive System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-Repetition (SIVJRNR) and promotion of victims, and former combatants’ participation.
- Strengthening follow-up capacities of territorial entities regarding commitments within the peace agreement.
- Supporting the Office of the Attorney General in the promotion of participation and increased access of victims of armed conflict to the Special Jurisdiction for Peace.
- Strengthening capacities of parents, caregivers, teachers, directors and community representatives to protect children and adolescents.
- Reducing the rate of informal settlements and strengthening territories where this is an issue by supporting formal land tenure and creating access to various rural services such as credit, subsidies or public utilities; as a contribution to the Peace Agreement.
The persistence of human rights violations, due to the continuity of warlike actions requires the adoption of measures by the State in the areas of assistance, attention, reparation, prevention and protection. IOM programming contributes to the improvement of support to victims through:
- Technical assistance to territorial entities and organizations in the implementation of the victims' law.
- Strengthening the capacities of the Ministry of Interior when it comes to planning, managing and monitoring the implementation of the victims' policy and the assistance and reparation processes at the local level, through information systems.
As rural areas have been affected by violence many communities have lost trust in authorities. IOM programming for community stabilization includes:
- Technical assistance to police officers to improve their capacities on violence prevention within rural communities and enhance the communities’ trust in institutions.
- Support the self-construction of longer-term, sustainable houses for indigenous IDPs through the provision of materials (including wood), working uniforms, construction tools and the delivery of solar panels. This activity will be complemented with trainings to beneficiaries on construction provided by the Government.
- Implement food security projects for indigenous IDPs through the establishment of home gardens and the provision of technical assistance.
- Prevent gender-based violence in indigenous IDPs through awareness-raising and the implementation of workshops with the community.
- Strengthen indigenous traditional authorities on conflict resolution through workshops and technical assistance.
- Promote job trainings and skills for employability, entrepreneurship, and for the creation and strengthening of local rural and urban enterprise, to contribute to social and economic stabilization of survivors of violence, as well as host communities.
Given the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on income and food security of vulnerable populations, including IDPs and ethnic groups, IOM will provide support through:
- Delivery of food kits for affected populations.
- Promotion of employability and income generation activities, including the production of high demand products like Personal Protection Equipment (PPE).
- Delivery of non-food items to promote food security, namely tools and supplies for agriculture for affected populations.
- Delivery of water and water filters for affected ethnic groups.
- Technical assistance to strengthen the capacities of civil society organizations to better respond to the needs of their communities.
IOM will promote the socio-economic integration of displacement affected refugees and migrants from Venezuela, ensuring equal and tailored labour opportunities for men, women and youth, to support the progression towards durable solutions. IOM will equally support access to various levels and types of education for children and youth, with particular attention to girls. IOM plans to carry out the following activities:
- Facilitate access to income-generating activities through the provision of seed capital and relevant trainings (such as business start-up and financial literacy).
- Enhance the inclusion of migrants and refugees from Venezuela in the formal local labour market by creating new and strengthening current partnerships with the private sector and public employment services, to promote corporate social responsibility and the ethical recruitment of refugees and migrants from Venezuela.
- Provide technical assistance to local governments to develop and implement rural development initiatives.
- Enhance social cohesion among migrants, refugees and host communities through the promotion of cultural events, and implementation of anti-xenophobia and anti-discrimination campaigns.
- Facilitate access to the education system through enrolment support and the provision of school kits.
In order to strengthen the health system in the country, health professionals, as well as local and national entities, require capacity-building activities, including improved capacity to respond to the specific COVID-19 needs of migrants and refugees, host communities as well as survivors of violence; in this regard IOM will:
- Provide technical assistance to national governments to improve their health-care services in relation to the regional Venezuelan crisis, including training of health professionals on migrant-friendly services such as assistance for communicable and non-communicable diseases, sexual and reproductive health, management of information and provision of equipment and supplies to hospitals.
- Strengthen local entities’ capacities to prevent, control and respond to COVID-19, through trainings, and the provision of medical equipment and personal protective equipment.
- Strengthen capacities of community networks, community health workers and organizations when it comes to health surveillance.
- Improve psychosocial services delivered by Government institutions by operationalizing policy instruments and developing MHPSS tools for survivors of violence.
Despite the many gains, peace and stability is negatively affected by the recidivism of former combatants, institutional weakness and recruitment of children and adolescents by non-state armed groups. Additionally, the persistence of human rights violations, due to the continuity of the warlike actions implies the adoption of measures by the State in the areas of assistance, attention, reparation, prevention and protection to survivors of violence. IOM, will contribute to peacebuilding and reparation for survivors of violence through:
- Training in MHPSS skills. i.e. Psychological First Aid, Active listening, Intercultural communication and basic knowledge on MHPSS.
- Implementation of comprehensive, context-specific, mental health and psychosocial community resilience strategy in coordination with national and local GOC and community, in contribution to the measures of reparation of the Government to survivors of violence.
Migrants, refugees, government counterparts and host communities.
IOM aims to promote improved hygiene practices and sanitation through the provision of activities, supplies and infrastructure, including:
- Trainings to strengthen hygiene and water management programs capacity.
- Provide equipment and adapt water and sanitation infrastructure; including, construction of wells, installation of filters, improvement of handwashing points to prevent and contain the spread of COVID-19 among migrants, refugees and host communities.
Government counterparts and partners.
IOM will track and monitor population mobility through DTM to regularly and systematically capture, process and disseminate information to provide a better understanding of the movements and evolving needs of the Venezuelan population.
Figures are as of 31 December 2020. For more details of IOM's operational capacity in country, please see the IOM Capacity section.