Colombian Red Cross provides humanitarian aid on Venezuelan border

Publié: 27 août 2015 18:15 CET

In response to the humanitarian crisis taking place on the Venezuelan border since Friday, the Colombian Red Cross has set up a “human corridor” to transport Colombian and Venezuelan nationals in need of medical attention from San Antonio and neighbouring areas to hospitals in Cúcuta.

These efforts are being led by the Santander branch of the Colombian Red Cross, under the direction of their President, Alberto Mario Labarrera Lallemad.  Additional support and coordination is being provided by the Ministry of Foreign Relations, the Governor of Tachira, the Venezuelan consulate, and the Director Generals of the Colombian Red Cross in Bogota.

 “The Santander Branch of the Colombian Red Cross has put 1 bus, 2 vans, 21 volunteers, and four staff members at the disposal of the ‘human corridor.’  Between Saturday and Sunday, the operation was able to transport 59 patients, including 2 Venezuelan nationals.  These patients exhibited varying pathologies, ranging from dialysis, chemotherapy, and cardiovascular issues, among others” states President Labarrera.

The Colombian Red Cross is also carrying out activities regarding psychosocial support, humanitarian aid, recreation, and restoring family links, as well as coordinating with different aid organizations to join efforts in providing more assistance to both deported Colombians, as well as  those returning voluntarily.

Given the challenges presented, a station will be set up in La Parada to provide first aid, psychosocial support, and ambulances.  Temporary shelters will be provided to returning Colombians, and those crossing the border will be permanently accompanied by volunteers who will provide them with the necessary hydration and nourishment.

“The access to medical treatment along the border is thanks to all the humanitarian work that has been undertaken.  As of yesterday, we are working in the shelters, providing psychosocial support to deported Colombians exhibiting signs of depression and stress” says Francisco Moreno Carrillo, Director General of Health.

The Colombian Red Cross will send baths and portable showers to both shelters in La Parada; one for the shelter at the football field that houses 50 men, and the other at the elderly home with 72 women and 168 minors.  A team of volunteer experts on shelter management and psychosocial support will arrive within the next hours to help with the overcrowded conditions in both shelters.

Programs for restoring family links have been activated in all 32 branches of the Colombian Red Cross.  Colombians across the country can go to any branch in the country for information regarding family members at or near the Venezuelan border.

Humanitarian action being taken:

- Support for the delivery of food, hygiene kits, and other humanitarian aid to the shelters.

- Temporary sheltering at the Coliseo of the Municipal School for 134 people who arrived in the day, and an additional 60 during the night.

- Delivery of 188 hygiene kits to families currently at the shelter at Coliseo of the Municipal School of Cúcuta.

- Registration, damage evaluation, and needs analysis for the families arriving at the temporary shelters.

- Recreational activities for 70 children between the ages 3 to 16.

- Visits from the National Relief Director, Cesar Urueña Pulido, and the National Health Director, Dr. Francisco Moreno Carrillo to coordinate with the corresponding authorities of Venezuela on matters of humanitarian work.

- Visits to temporary shelters, elderly homes, and other places in La Parada and the municipality of Villa del Rosario to gain knowledge on the needs of the temporary population.

- Transfer of patients to the JJ Pita Foundation shelter in Cúcuta.


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