Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) Anne C. Richard will travel to Ecuador, May 17-18, and Colombia, May 19-23.
While in Ecuador, Assistant Secretary Richard will meet with Government of Ecuador officials and representatives of international and non-governmental organizations. She will visit communities hosting Colombian refugees and asylum seekers, as well as a refugee shelter.
In Colombia, Assistant Secretary Richard will meet with Colombian government officials, Constitutional Court Magistrates, community leaders, women’s organizations, and youth participants in a forced recruitment prevention project. She will discuss PRM’s support for implementation of the groundbreaking Victims’ and Land Restitution Law, which provides for compensation and land restitution to victims of the conflict.
According to the Government of Colombia, the conflict has resulted in over 3.5 million internally displaced persons since 1997. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that over more than 360,000 Colombians have fled to neighboring countries to seek international protection.
In Fiscal Year 2012, the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration provided nearly $41 million to international organizations and NGOs for assistance to displaced Colombians in Ecuador and throughout the region. In addition to providing funding to the UNHCR and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the Bureau also funded non-governmental organizations providing direct humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons in Colombian and refugees in Ecuador, Venezuela, Panama and Costa Rica.
For updates, follow Assistant Secretary Richard on Twitter @StatePRM.