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EMERGENCY ALERT

Rising inequality, high rates of unemployment and growing poverty have had a devastating effect on children and families in Colombia. 

COVID-19 has reinforced deep and systemic inequalities, in which the most vulnerable are paying the highest price. Your support today can help save lives. 

Help Save Children in Colombia

Following over 50 years of armed conflict, which continues in some regions, Colombia has the largest number of displaced people in the world, an alarming 7.3 million. The number of families and children in Colombia in need has only grown since August 2017 when violence and a severe lack of food and medicine forced millions of neighboring Venezuelan families to cross the border into Colombia. All of these children need your help to survive.

What to Know About the Current Protests in Colombia

Right now, the violence surrounding widespread protests in Colombia is putting families and children at risk. While a recently proposed tax reform, later withdrawn, prompted Colombians to peacefully protest, the situation has now become dangerous and deadly. Reports have surfaced that at least 2 children were among more than two dozen killed, with more than 800 civilians and 500 police injured.

The only way to protect children in Colombia is to stop the violence against people altogether.

We urgently call for the guaranteed respect for and protection of human rights, including the right to free association and protest. While acts of vandalism should be addressed individually within the confines of the law, Save the Children strongly condemns the use of force on civilians.

Save the Children also reiterates the necessity of safe access for non-governmental organizations to support the most vulnerable communities —including migrants, victims of the conflict and those living in extreme poverty.

Colombia’s economy has been ravaged by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has revealed and reinforced deep and systemic inequalities. Poverty and unemployment are on the rise (42.5% of poverty compared to 35.7% in 2019; 23.9% youth unemployment, up from 20.5% in 2020). 

Due to this crisis, many Venezuelan migrants, already affected by the pandemic will also be severely at risk. Children and families who live on the streets will have no way to protect themselves. Today, Colombia hosts approximately 1.7 million displaced Venezuelans. The country also has one of the highest child homicide rates in the world.

Save the Children has been working in Colombia since 1991, and has a long history of responding to humanitarian disasters in the región. Children in Colombia have a right to grow up free from violence.

The Challenges for Children in Colombia

Colombia has more displaced children than any other country in the world. 70% of migrants crossing into Colombia are women and girls. You can make a difference in the lives of children who are hungry, out of school and in desperate need of help.

  • 16% of the population has been forcibly displaced due to conflict
  • 13% of children suffer from stunting due to malnutrition
  • 21 children in every 1,000 are murdered
  • 27% of people live in poverty
Map of Colombia

How You’re Changing Children’s Lives

Thanks to giving people like you, our work for children in Colombia is making a difference.

Save the Children has been working in Colombia since 1963. An alarming escalation of violence in neighboring Venezuela has causes millions of families as well as unaccompanied children to cross the border into Colombia in search of food, safety and shelter. 

Children are arriving malnourished. Families live on the streets or makeshift shelters without access to clean water, basic sanitation or electricity. Children exposed to the elements are suffering from respiratory problems, diarrhea and skin conditions. Hospitals are overcrowded and lack sufficient resources to deal with the influx of people. Over 80,000 displaced Venezuelan children do not go to school in Colombia.[i] Child Protection systems are weak. Children, in particular unaccompanied children, are at risk of deportation, forced labor, sexual exploitation or recruitment into armed groups.[ii]

Thanks to caring supporters around the world, Save the Children is working with to support the children of Colombia. Our teams are responding to the Venezuelan regional crisis in two locations on the Colombian/Venezuelan border. 

  • Protected 2,448 children from harm
  • Supported 2,147 children in times of crisis
  • Provided 5,448 children with a healthy start in life
How to Help Children in Colombia

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*Unless otherwise noted, facts and statistics have been sourced from Save the Children’s monitoring and evaluation experts and from the 2021 End of Childhood Report. You can access detailed data here. Other sources as follows: UNHCR; Population: CIA World Factbook 2015;The World Bank, 2016; Unesco Institute for Statistics (UIS).

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