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Despite the fact that Colombia’s GDP per capita is in the medium-high level for Latin America, the country still has high rates of inequality in the distribution of income and severe problems with human rights violations.
In the last 50 years, the Colombian population has suffered the humanitarian consequences of the internal armed conflict (which ended with the peace agreements signed between the Government and the FARC at the end of 2016): forced migration, increase in the number of refugees, forced recruitment of children and young people, sexual and gender-based violence. During the years of the armed conflict, 6,270,000 people were displaced in the country - a crisis in terms of the number of refugees second only to the Syrian one. The post-conflict continues to require the attention of the international community to accompany the reconstruction process.
The first half of 2018 saw a significant increase in the violent activities of armed groups (ELN, EPL, FARC dissidents and post-paramilitary groups) fighting for control of the territory, directly affecting the local civilian population. Armed actions have increased by 47% compared to the same period in 2017 and internal migration has increased by 112%; more than 4.9 million Colombians - 10% of the country's population - are in need of humanitarian aid, only partly provided by the authorities. The situation in the country is also aggravated by the influx of migrants (1.2 million people) caused by the Venezuelan crisis.
COOPI has been working in Colombia since 1999 through various humanitarian interventions in favour of communities located in rural areas strongly affected by long periods of drought or floods, with interventions for the reconstruction of post-earthquake houses and activities for the protection and of the rights of children migrated due to the internal armed conflict. From 2003 to 2011, in consortium with other Italian NGOs, COOPI's action was strongly related to the Latin American School of Specialization in Development Cooperation at the San Buenaventura University in Cartagena, aimed at training professionals in the field of international cooperation.