Although Colombia is developing rapidly and is currently the fourth largest economy in Latin America, there are still vast inequalities. Almost half of the population is living in poverty.
In 2016, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed a peace agreement which formally ended more than fifty years of civil conflict.
It is estimated that nearly 2 million Venezuelan refugees have settled in Colombia after fleeing the crisis that has devastated their country. Most of the people arrive in the country in conditions of extreme need. Their reasons for migrating, the journey to reach Colombia and the process of starting a new life are often marked by physical and emotional harm.
In addition to the trauma of having to leave their country, many Venezuelan refugees face health and nutrition problems, as well as discrimination by the local population. About half of these newcomers lack legal status and cannot access formal employment, healthcare or other services.
Colombia is also vulnerable to natural disasters – more than 11 million people are affected each year by droughts, earthquakes and flooding, which are becoming more frequent and severe due to the climate crisis.