Programme areas and target groups

ZOA works in La Guajira. In this region, we work with Venezuelan migrants, indigenous Wayuu and poor host populations. Mid 2020 ZOA is about to expend its operations to Arauca, a border department that has become an important legal entry point for migrants into Colombia. There are 47.000 migrants living in Arauca (Aug 2020), most of whom are concentrated near the border in Arauca city.

In Colombia, ZOA is active in three fields:

  • WASH
  • Food Security & Livelihoods
  • Cash

What we do

In May 2019, ZOA started its operations in Colombia to respond to the needs of the many Venezuelans that have fled into Colombia. Official figures estimate that  around 1.3 million Venezuelans are in Colombia and about 5.000 people still enter on a daily basis increasing the pressure on the resources of Colombia. In the department of La Gujirqa in Colombia, the population has increased with 15%.

The Venezuelans are fleeing a bankrupt country were food, fuel and medicines are no longer available due to the extremely high inflation. They flee their country in search of food and medicines and only take what they can carry. In Colombia they live in self-build huts on open land near the town, without electricity, water or support. Since the land is not their own, they are often under threat of eviction or requested to pay large amounts of money for staying on the land. They try to survive by finding informal jobs, but most struggle to find enough work to provide for their families.


Water and sanitation to reduce risks for especially women and children

ZOA will provide water storage capacity for households so they can buy larger quantities of water, reducing their costs. In addition household filters will be distributed to ensure the water is suitable for consumption. ZOA will provide latrine materials and guidance so people can construct a latrine with their shelter. This will reduce risks for women, who no longer have to walk to the bush and provide dignity for them. Hygiene promotion will to reduce the risk of waterborne diseases.

Livelihood support to support Venezuelans 

Most of the people that fled Venezuela do not have the permission to find formal  employment in Colombia. They survive by doing odd jobs, hoping to get some income but often going days without. This leads to lack of food and water. ZOA is currently doing assessments to better understand the household economics and how best to support the Venezuelans in their food and other basic needs. Most likely ZOA will provide cash or food vouchers in combination with livelihoods support to ensure a more sustainable income.

ZOA Colombia food distributions

Donors and Partners

With funding from

Our constituency from the Netherlands.

In cooperation with

Fundación Halü