Leticia, a community leader in the Community of Juttial in the town of Maicao, shows the consequences of drought on cattle. (Copyright: WFP/Juan Felipe Espinosa)

Colombia: The Effects of Drought in La Guajira

The prolonged drought in the Department of La Guajira in recent years has exacerbated the levels of undernutrition within the population, including children under 5 years of age. La Guajira is currently on alert due to the prevalent effects of food scarcity, lack of water and livelihoods insecurity. The World Food Programme (WFP) offers its support to the Government of Colombia.


Colombia is the third most populous country in Latin America, with an estimated population of 47.1 million, 75 percent living in urban areas. Despite its middle-income country status, 23 million Colombians are poor and 6 million live below the extreme poverty line.

Colombia’s 50-year conflict hampers economic growth, threatens vital infrastructure, displaces populations, erodes social and cultural cohesion, and generates enormous fiscal costs. The humanitarian crisis facing Colombia after more than 40 years of conflict makes it one of the countries with the highest rates of internally displaced people (IDP) in the world.

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