In response to the growingpandemic, Colombia imposed strict measures to contain the spread of the virus. Lockdowns and movement restrictions are taking a major toll on Colombians, as hungry people are protesting on the streets, calling on the government to provide more food aid and going against stay-at-home orders that have been in place since March 25. There have even been incidents where people have attempted to loot vehicles transporting food and other essential supplies—a sign of a growing crisis in Colombia.
People working in the informal sector—those with low wages, few benefits, and limited hours—are currently running out of food and money under lockdown. Following the protests, other small demonstrations are calling for increased government support across Colombia in the hardest-hit areas in Bogota, Medellin, and Cali. According to reports, Colombian authorities haven’t been distributing food to vulnerable communities.
The UAE Embassy in Bogota recently made a donation of 15,000 meals said to help nearly 2,000 Colombian citizens. Under the supervision of UAE Ambassador to Colombia, Salem Rashid Al Owais, the initiative “The UAE is With You” encourages embassies to donate to citizens in Colombia affected by the outbreak. The initiative’s aim, as pointed out by Al Owais, is to strengthen cooperation and solidarity between the UAE and Colombia to overcome the current global crisis—highlighting the support and generosity of Emiratis.