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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

Colombia: health care access for conflict-affected communities in remote areas

Colombia is hostage to a nearly 6-decade long internal conflict. The peace agreement signed in 2016 between the government and the largest guerrilla group – the FARC – did not yield results and several armed groups remain active across the country. Civilians suffer the most from the humanitarian consequences of the conflict.

The level of insecurity is increasing, with 2021 marking the highest number of clashes between armed groups and security forces, militarily enforced lockdowns, child recruitment, and forced displacement. Health workers are being systematically targeted, leaving conflict-affected and isolated areas even more vulnerable.

Attacks on medical personnel and facilities increased by 70% between 2020 and 2021. The conflict hinders people’s access to basic health care: according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), in Colombia, 2.4 million citizens struggle to access medical care.

The EU funds the Spanish Red Cross and Colombian Red Cross to reach the most isolated communities with mobile medical teams to provide basic health care and medicines.

Video © European Union, 2021
Publication date: 08/06/2022