December 10 2010

SOS Children's Villages starts emergency relief in flood-affected Colombia

10/12/2010 - Heavy rains in northern Colombia have lead to disastrous floods and landslides that have claimed the lives of some 200 people. More than 1.5 million people have lost their homes to the floods and both Colombian and international governmental organisations and NGOs are scrambling to help those who have lost everything. SOS Children's Villages is supporting affected children in the Province of Antioquia.

Photo: SOS Archives
At the SOS Emergency Care Centre in Bello - Photo: SOS Archives
An initial situation assessment carried out by an emergency team of SOS Children's Villages in the municipality of Bello in the Province of Antioquia found that help is not reaching affected children as quickly as it should and has identified children without adequate food or adults to care for them. Many adults are caught up doing paperwork for the identification of dead bodies and funeral proceedings, while others are still waiting for news of their loved ones.

As of 7 December, a team of SOS Children's Villages has been providing basic nutrition to more than 80 children and their families and will continue to do so for at least ten days. An SOS Emergency Care Centre has been set up to offer pedagogical and psychological support as well as recreational activities for children whose parents need to take care of pressing family matters.

Photo: SOS Archives
The children are also provided with nutritious food - Photo: SOS Archives

In the meantime, SOS co-workers are identifying those families in most urgent need in order to better coordinate support coming from SOS Children's Villages itself as well as from the government and other organisations.