- In Colombia, the DANE (National Administrative Department of Statistics, DANE for its acronym in Spanish) published that for the year 2021 “the poverty rate attained 39.3%” and that “extreme poverty reached 12.2%”. (https://www.elespectador.com/economia/pobreza-en-colombia-estas-son-las-cifras-de-2021/)
- The Mujer y Hogar Foundation develops its social programs in the Commune 10 of Bucaramanga, where most of the population is in a situation of poverty or extreme poverty. The commune is made up of seven settlements called: Brisas de Provenza, Luz de Salvación, La Cañada, Cristal Alto, Cristal Bajo, Granjas de Provenza, Granja Rigan. Commune 10 is home to more than two thousand Colombian or migrant families (mainly coming from Venezuela, a country that is currently experiencing an economic and political crisis).
Problems of the Commune 10 of Bucaramanga
- The problems encountered by the families of Commune 10 are the following:
- Poverty / Extreme poverty
- High rates of unemployment
- High rates of malnutrition / undernourishment
- Lack of access to quality health care
- Lack of access to quality housing
- Drug addiction problems
- Family problems
- Pregnancies at an early age or unwanted pregnancies
- Domestic violence
- Deficient garbage treatment system
- Unhealthy environment
- Adverse situations
The following events have a significant impact on the living conditions of the population of the Commune 10:
- Colombian armed conflict:
- Since the 1950s, Colombia has lived a reality marked by an armed conflict over drug trafficking and terrorism. It is estimated that as a consequence there are thousands of dead, disabled, kidnapped, displaced, disappeared and other kind of victims of various forms of violence caused by the different actors in the conflict (Source: Wikipedia). A part of the population of Commune 10 arrived after having been displaced by the conflict.
- Political and economic situation of Venezuela – Human mobility:
- Since the 2010s, Venezuela has suffered “a deep political, economic and social crisis that began during the government of Hugo Chávez and has continued with his successor Nicolás Maduro, a period that corresponds to the so-called Bolivarian Revolution. Marked by strong hyperinflation, increased poverty, reappearance of eradicated diseases, crime and increased mortality, resulting in massive emigration”.
- Due to its proximity to the Venezuelan border, Commune 10 of Bucaramanga has known a very significant increase in the number of families in a situation of human mobility (return of Colombian families and Venezuelan nationals with the intention to stay in Colombia). Many people have an irregular immigration status, which hinders their possibility to have a formal job, to access to higher education or to access to the social security system (healthcare and retirement), most of them are in a situation of extreme poverty.
- As in most places around the world, in Colombia Covid-19 affected mainly the most vulnerable population. The economic fabric was affected, some companies had no other option than to close. Informal sales could not take place. Many entrepreneurs or employees lost their jobs, and did not get any support. The Mujer y Hogar Foundation is developing post-Covid projects that will allow business or labor reintegration.