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Volume 450: debated on Tuesday 10 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many (a) internally displaced people in and (b) refugees from Colombia there have been in each year since 2002; and if he will make a statement. (89576)

It is difficult to establish accurate numbers in each year since 2002. According to the Colombian Government, an estimated 1,148,000 people were internally displaced over the period 2000-2003. The Colombian non-government organisation, Consultancy for Human Rights and Development (CODHES), reported 1,247,000 internally displaced people over the same period. CODHES reported some 250,000 displacements in 2004 and similar numbers in 2005. According to Colombian Government figures, the total number of internally displaced people in Colombia is 2.5-3.0 million. NGO estimates suggest the number could be up to 3.3 million.

Estimated numbers of refugees from Colombia are not available by year. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that there are currently 250,000 displaced Colombians in Ecuador (37,000 refugee and asylum seekers), 12,500 in Panama (2,200 refugee and asylum seekers) and 206,300 in Venezuela (6,300 refugee and asylum seekers).