In Colombia, FSD continues to help OACP Descontamina Colombia, the national mine clearance authority, to develop and implement information management solutions. The COVID-19 pandemic has made work more difficult, since now an extra layer of information is needed to plan mine clearance operations. The number of COVID-19 cases in Colombia has been steadily increasing since March. As of the 24th July, the country had recorded 226,373 cases and 7,688 deaths.
Colombia is also limited in terms of the lockdown measures it can implement. Fewer than a million people out of more than 50 million can benefit from a pension. Social welfare benefits are also very low The majority of the population (particularly the elderly) is therefore falling ill when their financial situation is already very fragile.
FSD’s Colombia team decided to support the most needy in a sensitive response to this situation. With a great deal of goodwill and masses of motivation, team members volunteered in their spare time to cook and distribute meals in Teusaquillo (the 13th locality of Bogotá, where the FSD office was based until July 2019). While the socio-economic situation of this very sparsely populated district with a dominant middle class might look favourable, the reality for many households is very different. Many residents are on low incomes or unemployed. Access to subsidies and food aid programmes is also limited. All of these circumstances mean poverty is on the rise. But it is not conspicuous enough for the situation to be considered urgent.
The FSD Colombia team cooked 1,700 meals in four weeks. This project was only possible in the first place thanks to the continued support of our donors and the team’s commitment. Solidarity is the best antivirus in times of crisis. Many thanks to this terrific team and our generous donors!