IOM Supporting Over 300 Families Displaced Due to Floods in Mocoa, Colombia

Posted: 
04/07/17
Themes: 
Humanitarian Emergencies, Internally Displaced Persons, Migration and Environment

Colombia - In support of the Government of Colombia, IOM has deployed a team of experts to assess the needs of over 300 families, displaced due to recent extreme weather. Twelve temporary shelters have been set up by local authorities in Mocoa, the municipality in the southeastern part of the country severely affected by the heavy rains on 31 March, which caused the Mocoa, Sangoyaco and Mulata rivers to overflow.

The heavy rains led to an avalanche and floods, which have so far killed 306 people and left 372 people missing. In total, 28 neighborhoods in Mocoa have been affected. 

The situation in urban areas is challenging. Due to damages to the sewerage system, there is no drinking water. Electricity has been suspended in some municipalities of Putumayo. The collapse in the hospital network was also reported. The effects on rural areas are still unclear. 

“IOM knows the emergency area and is supporting the Colombian Government, which established a unified response centre in the municipality to coordinate national and international support,” said Alejandro Guidi, IOM Colombia Chief of Mission. “IOM is also participating in the United Nations Country Humanitarian Team for national and local responses,” he continued. 

IOM’s support will be provided under the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) strategy by supplying shelters for displaced persons.

To provide an immediate response to the emergency in temporary shelters, IOM received USD 200,000 from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on behalf of the United States Government.

These financial resources have enabled the deployment of the IOM team to the affected region to work on the needs assessment, registration of the victims and transportation of affected population. The resources will also enable early recovery activities, as well as the provision of technical support to the Government of Colombia and the UN System on CCCM-related activities, including trainings on shelter management.

In the medium term, IOM has already guaranteed solutions for the economic recovery of 150 affected indigenous families. Additionally, IOM will coordinate with the private sector and other donors to identify potential financial support. 

Mocoa is the capital of Putumayo, one of Colombia’s 32 departments. The department, bordering Ecuador and Peru, has been historically affected by armed conflict.

For further information, please contact Karen Mora at IOM Colombia, Tel. + (57) 1 639 7777, Email: kmora@iom.int.

Over 300 families displaced in Colombia need temporary shelter due to extreme weather. Photo: UNHCR