Alert CV19 070: COVID-19 in La Guajira
Even before the outbreak of COVID-19, older Venezuelan migrants, returnees and those in need of protection in La Guajira, Colombia were struggling to access basic necessities such as food, healthcare and WASH facilities. Since the pandemic hit, their living conditions have worsened as they can no longer live off informal trade or access social canteens due to lockdown restrictions.
According to a rapid needs assessment carried out by HelpAge International, 61% of older migrants (60+) who live in these informal settlements do not have access to a bathroom, 64% do not have bathing facilities and 84% cannot wash their hands—basic measures that can help prevent the spread of COVID-19. In addition, 55% of them are living with a disability, depending on families and friends to meet their basic needs. Unfortunately, migrants with disabilities often face added barriers, lacking access to aid and information that is adapted to their circumstances.
Through Start Fund COVID-19, HelpAge International, Humanity and Inclusion and Pastoral Social have been taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in La Guajira. The project includes the delivery of hygiene kits, water and storage tanks to 750 families that have older people or people with disabilities.
Start Fund COVID-19 is supported by the IKEA Foundation, UK Aid and private donors.