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GOAL has been working in Colombia since 2019, supporting host communities and Venezuelan refugees who have been exiled from their homeland. Economic turmoil, political unrest, violence and a lack of basic needs such as food and medicine have driven millions from their homes.

What we do in Colombia

Emergency Response
Sustainable Livelihoods

Supporting communities facing conflict, migration and natural disasters

Colombia is currently experiencing a multi-faceted humanitarian crisis with 7 million people in need due to conflict, migration, and natural disasters. The country also registered more than 2 million cases of Covid-19 infections and more than 50,000 Covid-19 related deaths during 2020.

GOAL initially received strategic support and funding from Irish Aid during its initial response phase in 2019. GOAL now is coordinating its emergency response with local authorities, international organizations, grassroots organizations, community leaders and United Nations agencies.

GOAL is providing support to a number shelter and settlements sites in and is strengthening urban resilience through its flagship Barrio Resiliente programme. The project is being implemented by a consortium, with GOAL as lead agency, and targets neighborhoods in four regions: La Guajira, Norte de Santander, Bucaramanga Municipality in Santander, and Baranquilla municipality in Atlantico.

Baranquilla and Bucaramanga, in particular, have experienced rapid expansion as a result of the migrant crisis. GOAL’s Barrio Resiliente approach aims to reduce urban disaster risk by strengthening local government and community capacities. The approach was first developed by GOAL in Honduras where it resulted in a measurable reduction in disaster risk in urban areas. It is being adapted to the Colombia context in collaboration with key municipal actors and piloted in prioritised neighborhoods prone to flooding and landslides and other hazards

Supporting Blue and Green economies

To support longer term solutions to the migrant crisis, GOAL is supporting inclusive economic development through its ‘Resilience of the Blue Economy’ and ‘Green Economy’ programmes.

These well-established programmes are now being adapted and applied in response to the migrant crisis in Colombia. The Resilience of the Blue Economy Programme was developed by GOAL with the aim of making fisheries markets more inclusive and resilient by addressing key constraints including: inadequate infrastructure for cold chain management; lack of access to capital and financial services; poor and non-existent extension and business development services; poor governance of natural resources leading to the “tragedy of the commons” including overfishing and habitat loss; limited adherence to market demand (food hygiene standards, stability of supply chains) and poor market coordination and linkages.

GOAL’s resilience of the Green Economy Programme is an economic model that results in improved well-being and social equality, while significantly reducing the risks related to climate variability and the loss of natural resources and biodiversity. Through this approach, GOAL will improve and rebuild natural capital as a critical economic asset and a source of benefits for the population of Colombia.

Working with local communities

GOAL is currently targeting its response in the border Departments of La Guajira, Atlántico, Santander and Norte Santander, operating from bases in Bogota, Bucaramanga and Barranquilla. The GOAL team in Colombia includes experts in urban resilience, inclusive economic development, early warning and response, protection and logistics.

GOAL’s portfolio of programmes in Colombia will be in excess of US$4 million over the next two years. Key donors include USAID and UN agencies. GOAL is also coordinating with local authorities, international organisations and community leaders.

To support longer term solutions to the migrant crisis, GOAL is supporting inclusive economic development through its Barrio Resiliente, ‘Resilience of the Blue Economy’ and ‘Green Economy’ programmes.

Our Story in numbers


GOAL begins work in Colombia


Total staff


No. of Venezuelan migrants living in Colombia


To be invested over the next 2 years