UN refugee agency welcomes US House resolution on Colombia’s displaced

UN refugee agency welcomes US House resolution on Colombia’s displaced

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The United Nations refugee agency today welcomed a resolution recently passed by the United States House of Representatives calling for an increase in aid from Washington for millions of displaced people in Colombia.

The United Nations refugee agency today welcomed a resolution recently passed by the United States House of Representatives calling for an increase in aid from Washington for millions of displaced people in Colombia.

“The resolution – which received widespread backing – recognizes 2007 as the Year of the Rights of Displaced People in Colombia and offers support to help the victims rebuild their lives,” said Ron Redmond, a spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

“It is the first time the US Congress has singled out forced displacement in Colombia as one of the worst humanitarian crises on the American continent,” he noted.

An average of 18,000 Colombians are uprooted by violence every month, with more than 1 million forced to flee in the past five years alone, according to UNHCR. The resolution, which next goes to the Senate for approval, calls on the Colombian Government and the international community to prioritize discussion of the humanitarian consequences and internal displacement and recommends that the US increase aid for emergency and long-term assistance to the victims.

Non-governmental organizations say the total number of internally displaced people in Colombia is as high as 3.8 million.