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Arauca is the main municipality of the northeastern Colombian Department of the same name. Located south of the Arauca River, it is connected to Venezuela by the José Antonio Paez International Bridge. The city of Arauca is the principal urban settlement in Colombia along the Libertadores highway, which joins the capital cities of Bogotá and Caracas. The department of Arauca is facing a new crisis, exacerbating social and economic issues that persist in municipalities on the Colombia-Venezuela border. Specifically, the department contends with problems related to the armed conflict, which victimized 30 percent of the population, an unemployment rate 12.1 percent and the resulting lack of economic opportunities, multidimensional poverty rates of 70 percent, and the influx of Venezuela refugees, all of which have worsened social and economic issues.

ACDI/VOCA will implement this second phase of the ERA program in seven settlements identified as priority. The program will respond to needs for potable water and improved environmental health and introduce resilience activities related to agriculture and food security, economic recovery, protection and hygiene. The program will provide immediate alleviation and reduce the vulnerability of families living in seven settlements, in the municipality of Arauca through a combination of response, risk reduction, and preparedness activities that also build community resilience.

Project Objectives

  • Agriculture and Food Security: Improve availability and sustainable production of food
  • Protection: Promote individual and collective resilience to cope with current circumstances and help in the restoration of social cohesion
  • WASH: Reduce morbidity and mortality associated with consumption of contaminated water and precarious hygiene conditions

Project Activities and Approaches

  • The program hopes to provide immediate response actions aimed at saving lives and to increase communities’ overall resilience to humanitarian crises.
  • ERA II interventions will focus on approximately 900 households and will benefit over 3,000 people that are most directly affected in the seven informal settlements of Pescadito, La Gloria, Brisas del Puente, Puerto Alegre, El Refugio, Villa Linda, and San José.

Anticipated Project Results

  • Help families build their food security capacities through learning how to have a household vertical garden and ways of utilizing crops for personal consumption and generating additional income
  • Promote self-care and self-improvements through changes in perceptions and empowerment
  • Increase the long-term access to water supplies by working with community water committees to ensure their sustainability and provide training on good hygienic practices

Contact: Yamil A. Roger Nasser at yroger@acdivoca.org