Mr Andrej Golob
T: +386 1 479 65 95
The longstanding armed conflict in Colombia of over 45 years continues to be the cause of a protracted humanitarian crisis leaving hundreds and thousands of people displaced, as well as causing social and political polarisation with the marginalisation and targeting of specific groups and uneven economic growth.
Colombia is considered as one of the countries that are most affected by landmines, UXOs and IEDs. Of Colombia’s 32 departments, 31 have a problem with landmines and only one ― the Caribbean Archipelago Department of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina ― is not affected. Official government statistics show a cumulative total of 10.160 mine victims between 1990 and December 2012, including 982 children. The most affected department is Antioquia, accounting 2.263 mine victims since 1990 by the end of year 2012, followed by Meta and Caquetá. Altogether, in Colombia live more than 4 million victims of conflict that need constant and sufficient rehabilitation treatment.
The precise extent of the landmine problem in Colombia is unknown, but there is a lack of national clearance capacity, clearance activities, risk education and sufficient medical/rehabilitation services, especially in remote rural areas where over 96% of all mine/ERW incidents take place.
What we do
Since 2006 ITF is tackling challenging problem to provide effective rehabilitation treatment of mine survivors and other heavily injured people in Colombia to enhance the long-term capacity of Colombian rehabilitation institutions.
In period 2008–2011, ITF has supported two specialized trainings for multidisciplinary rehabilitation teams based in Norte de Santander and Bolivar Departments where the enhancement of local rehabilitation capacities is of paramount importance, primarily due to inadequacy of services that were being provided there. Trainings were implemented by URI Soča in Slovenia.
Trainings were followed by specialized workshop in Cartagena, Colombia which focused on improving rehabilitation capacities and services for people following amputations. Workshop consisting lectures and practical work was attended by 36 rehabilitation experts from 13 most mine contaminated departments in Colombia.
In continuation ITF organized a conference in Bogota, Colombia for all relevant national stakeholders involved directly or indirectly in rehabilitation services, as well as for potential donors. On the conference ITF presented results of its efforts and recommendations on how to improve rehabilitation services in Colombia. During the conference, ITF officially signed letter of intent with PAICMA to facilitate cooperation in the field of national capacity building and other mutually agreed activities in whole mine action.