Peace and conflict in Colombia, crisis in Venezuela

In November 2016 in Colombia, the Final Peace Agreement was signed with the FARC-EP, the oldest guerrilla movement in Latin America. However, today the notion of peace is far away for the regions most affected by the war. Non-state armed actors continue to dispute control of territory and the violence and insecurity are still affecting the most vulnerable communities. As members of the international community, we are called to promote and monitor the implementation of the agreement, and to continue working to ensure protection and social cohesion for these people, communities, and regions, working towards a stable and lasting peace.

o   Approximately five million refugees and migrants have left Venezuela as a result of the political turmoil, socio-economic instability, and the ongoing humanitarian crisis, triggering the largest external displacement crisis in Latin America’s recent history. The vast majority of Venezuelans on the move have stayed within the region with Colombia hosting the highest number of refugees and migrants. The COVID-19 pandemic worsened the Venezuelan migration crisis in 2020, increasing the difficulties faced by Venezuelan migrants and refugees and, therefore, the challenges of care, protection, and integration.

What are we doing in Colombia and Venezuela?

We carry out development and humanitarian work based on a human rights perspective, focused on communities and the interconnection of social, environmental, cultural, and economic issues in the territories where they live. We are an international actor, with a presence on the ground and working with communities and civil society organizations. We know the reality of the communities and their contexts, and we have generated bonds of trust that facilitate access to conflict areas. We work to defend rights, especially related to access to land, the generation of sustainable livelihoods, and the effects of climate change. We protect the most vulnerable, in particular those who are displaced and on the move.

Recent achievements

  • LWF has been responding to the emerging Venezuela crisis since 2015 and in 2020 has increased this response significantly
  • Protection of vulnerable women, children, and families affected by the Venezuela crisis.
  • Support for the communities of the Atrato River (Chocó) by securing international recognition of the Atrato as a subject of rights and reparation.
  • Strengthening communities’ resilience in the face of disasters, with an ethnic focus that prioritizes the most vulnerable.
  • Recognition of LWF by the Government of Colombia as a ‘go-to’ organization in the field of Mine Risk Education.
  • Strengthening food security in rural communities through training in agroecological techniques and the delivery of seeds and tools for subsistence plantations.
  • Strengthening and accompaniment of local organizations in their advocacy processes.

Update: 3 March 2021


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