Handicap International: Comprehensive action against Antipersonnel Mines (APM) and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) in three departments of Colombia.
The five decades running armed conflict in Colombia continues to cause humanitarian needs such as internal displacement, landmine contamination and the recruitment of minors by armed groups. Departments of Nariño, Cauca and Cordoba, by geography serve as strategic corridor to the Pacific and Caribe for the cultivation, production and trafficking of drugs, weapons and illegal mining among others, becoming scenario of social conflicts and armed confrontation. Rural communities in those departments are among the most affected by antipersonnel mines (APM) and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) which generate victims with poor access to physical and psychosocial services, as well as option for social, economic and educational inclusion.
Reconstruction and Rehabilitation
Drinking water and basic sanitation (WASH - Water for people)
Protection and access
Information management: Government institutions and civil society organizations have access to reliable information on the scale of mine contamination and victims (250 participants among public officers, teachers, and community leaders).
Mine Risk Education (MRE): Through MRE processes, vulnerable communities have improved their capacities to reduce the risks and to prevent accidents (at least 400 people: 240 school children made aware and training of 40 community leaders and 120 teachers for the multiplication to wider audience).
Victim assistance: APM and ERW victims and other disabled people have received comprehensive services, in coordination with institutions, families, caretakers and communities (380 disabled people (80% victims of APM / ERW and 20% for other reasons) and 200 family members/caretakers). Additionally, at least 60 public officers are made aware and oriented on the safeguard of victims ‘rights.
- Social inclusion: APM and ERW victims and other disabled people have tools for their social and economic inclusion (90 survivors and support to 8 schools to increase their capacity for inclusion).
250 survivors received humanitarian assistance needed to access their medical treatment (transport, accommodation, etc.), 200 people received comprehensive physical and rehabilitation and psychosocial treatments.
80 survivors benefitted of customized productive projects.
60 survivors participated in advocacy platforms.
250 survivors attended educational and vocational processes.
70 public officers of different entities improved their knowledge on rights and obligations to survivors and increased their response capacity.
A report on the situation of victims was issued, and was disseminated among main stakeholders at national and subnational levels.
- The participation of victims’ family members or caretaker throughout the above mentioned processes was a significant step towards the victim’s sustained well-being.
- Handicap International
The hoped signature of a “Peace Agreement” between the Government and the FARC guerilla may open new perspectives for a (complex) transition towards reconstruction, including a high risk of continued armed violence due to the creation of new Post Demobilization Armed Groups. However, while peace talks are taking place, FARC and other illegal armed groups continue to install antipersonnel mines. Colombia is after Afghanistan the second country in the world with the highest number of new victims (40% civilians, 60% soldiers) of APM and ERWs. While the country has a robust legal framework regarding rights to attention of victims, the country still hasn’t a solid Information Management System for Mine Action (INSMA) in order to prioritize actions against this scourge. Also victims face substantial obstacles towards accessing physical and psychological rehabilitation, as well as social and economic inclusion. At the same time these weapons continue to generate risks of accidents and fear among the population, especially in remote and forgotten zones where armed groups operate.
Improve living conditions of people affected by APM and ERW contamination in the departments of Cauca, Cordoba and Nariño (in 8 affected municipalities), through the guarantee and restoration of their rights to rehabilitation (physical, psychological), and social, educational and economic inclusion.
For outcome 1: 250 persons including 30 public officers at national level, 60 at local level, 120 teachers and 40 community leaders. 40% are women.
For outcome 2: 400 people (240 school children, 40 community leaders and 120 teachers), who could also involve indigenous. 47% are women/girls.
For outcome 3: 380 disabled persons (80% are survivors of mines), as well as 200 family members/caretakers. 43% of the beneficiaries are women/girls. This component will be open also to other people with disabilities (not related to APM/ERW) especially regarding participation to psychosocial workshops and on orientation on their rights.
For outcome 4: 90 disabled persons and 8 schools. 50% are women/girls.
A multiplier effect is expected for the MRE training as trained multipliers (outcome 2) are expected to replicate in their communities. Also other people benefiting from actions against mines such as national and local authorities, communities affected by the presence of antipersonnel mines.
1.1-1.4: Update of the INSMA with reliable data on victims and affected communities, systematization of the experience and good practices of the project, study on land issues and rural development in a context of reparations to conflict victims.
2.1-2.3: Training of trainer on MRE to community leaders and teachers (40+120), sensitization workshop to 240 school children, production of cultural sensitive MRE training material and tools.
3.1-3.3: 380 disabled people (80 % victims of APM/ERW and 20% for other reasons) and 200 family members/caretakers get direct attention (physical and psychosocial rehabilitation).
4.1-4.3: Customized plans are developed to allow victims and their families for a sustainable social and economic inclusion and 90 victims (among the 380) are implementing such plans; plans are developed allowing teachers to improve their ability to adjust their courses to the cultural and physical capacity of children with particular focus in 8 schools.
Results from previous phases:
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
International or foreign Non-Governmental Organization
HI is an experienced and recognized international NGO and SDC partner in Colombia, present in the country since 1998 with similar interventions and a partner of SDC since 2008.
|Coordination with other projects and actors||
HI will coordinate and align actions with: the National Mine Action Authorities (DAICMA), Victims’ Unit (UARIV), public and private health services (hospitals and Orthopedic Centers, Clinics for prosthesis), National Service for Traineeship (SENA), Regional and local Education Secretariats, Mayor’s offices, schools.
Local partners of HI, such as: Pastoral Social de Pasto, Fundacion Tierra de Paz (Cauca).
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 394'000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 341'198|