Overview

Colombia is the third most populated country in Latin America, with an estimated population of 47.1 million, of which 25 percent lives in rural areas, 48.3 percent of them lives under the poverty line, including ethnic groups (indigenous and Afro Colombians) which represent 14 percent of total population. Although Colombia has upper middle income the inequality level is very high, ranking nineteenth worldwide and seventh in Latin America and the Caribbean, with a Gini coefficient of 0.539 in 2012.

 

The 50-year-old conflict has led 6 million victims deteriorating poverty rates and nutritional status, there are 32.7 and 10.4 percent of people living in poverty and extreme poverty respectively, and 43 percent are food insecure. A total of 5.2 million people of the victims have been displaced, from them 94.8 percent are food insecure. The humanitarian crisis facing Colombia after more than 40 years of conflict makes it one of the countries with the highest rates of internally displaced people (IDP) in the world. This situation hampers economic growth, threatens vital infrastructure, displaces populations, erodes social and cultural cohesion, and generates enormous fiscal costs. 

 

An evaluation carried out jointly by the International Committee of the Red Cross and WFP shows that the average monthly income of an internally displaced family represents a little over 41 percent of the official minimum wage, equivalent to US$63 dollars. Of this amount, displaced people spend 58 percent on food, 6 percent on health, and just three percent on education.

 

The dynamics of displacements generally compel family groups to drastically change their daily routines. Once unable to generate sufficient income, the IDPs are forced to withdraw their children from school, reduce their consumption of food commodities that would provide them with a balanced nutritious diet and, eventually, reduce the number of times they eat every day.