UN supporting Colombian authorities to aid landslide-effected community

Cleaning up operations in Mocoa, a city in Putamayo province, Colombia, after a deadly landslide on 31 March 2017 claimed the lives of upwards of 200 people. Photo: Local UN Coordination Team in Mocoa

3 April 2017 – The United Nations humanitarian community is working closely with Colombian authorities as Government-led search-and-rescue efforts are underway in the country’s Putamayo province after deadly landslides over the weekend.

Secretary-General António Guterres is expected to speak with President Juan Manuel Santos about the efforts and any urgent needs later today, his spokesperson told journalists in New York.

The Secretary-General spoke yesterday with Ambassador Maria Emma Majia Velez, Permanent Representative of Colombia to the UN, and “conveyed his condolences to the people and Government of Colombia,” the spokesperson said.

Quoting UN humanitarian sources, the spokesperson said that more than 250 people were killed and “many more” are missing or injured, including children.

“The United Nations commends Colombia for its efforts to ensure that immediate humanitarian needs are being met,” the spokesperson said, adding that the Organization stands ready to offer assistance.

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