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Donor Update on UNHCR COVID-19 Response in Colombia - #14 (1 - 15 October 2020)

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The Colombian Ministry of Health confirmed 990,270 cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday, 22 October, with Bogotá concentrating the highest number (304,567 confirmed cases). A total of 29,636 individuals have died from COVID-19 and 893,712 cases have recovered.

According to Migración Colombia, 113,894 Venezuelans have returned to Venezuela from or through Colombia as of Tuesday, 13 October.

The number of Venezuelans stranded on the Colombian side of the border with the intention to return to Venezuela continues to decrease (e.g 664 Venezuelans seeking to enter Venezuela at present compared to 719 on 22 September). While the humanitarian corridor at the Puente Simon Bolivar in Cúcuta remains open on weekdays, the corridor in Arauca is now open only once a week (Mondays), in Paraguachón on a needs only basis, due to the reduction in returns.

In addition, during the reporting period, 1,712 individuals (768 cases) returning to Venezuela were registered at the Transitory Health Attention Center (CAST in Spanish) at the Tienditas International Bridge near Cúcuta, of which 1,580 received information and orientation from UNHCR.

The Colombian Red Cross confirms that 73 percent of its interventions carried out on the route of the caminantes (people transiting on foot) during the month of September were for Venezuelans entering Colombia. According to media reports, the Colombian authorities estimate from 200,000 to 250,000 Venezuelans will enter Colombia before the end of 2020 with the reactivation of economic activities in Colombia.

As per GIFMM monitoring, between 12 June and 19 October, 466 evictions reports were registered affecting 1,909 Venezuelans, as per the following breakdown: 53.9 percent females, 43.2 percent males and 0.4 percent others (2.5 percent does not have information disaggregated by gender). Additionally, 2,109 Venezuelans have identified themselves as being at risk of eviction.

The Territorial Committee for Transitional Justice reports a large-group displacement of 25 families (65 persons) in the indigenous territory Awá, Alto Ulbí Nunalbí (Nariño). Additionally, two confinements were reported in the location, affecting 20 families. UNHCR advocated for the participation of community representatives in the Committee and for families to be allowed to leave the region due to protection risks. There are also reports of confinement risks in the Pital de la Costa village near Tumaco (Nariño) and of forced displacement in the indigenous community of Inda Sabaleta (Nariño), both caused by ongoing confrontations between illegal armed groups.

Five members of the National Peasants Association (ANUC in Spanish) displaced from the municipality of Balboa (Risaralda) were provided transportation to Popayan by the municipal administration and safe passage by the public forces. Four other members of ANUC, engaged in a land restitution process, were displaced from Mercaderes (Cauca).

During the reporting period, three massacres occurred in the municipalities of Cáceres (Antioquia), Jamundí (Valle del Cauca) and Planadas (Tolima). According to UNHCR monitoring, there has been a mass displacement in the El Tigre II sector (Caucasia, Antioquia), which affected 53 families and 198 persons, all of them from the Zenu ethnic group. Additionally, the murder of the governor of the Tierralta indigenous reservation in the municipality of Alto Baudó (Chocó) was reported.