The capital of Colombia, Bogotá is home to 8 million inhabitants – 13 million in the wider metropolitan area.
Although security levels and infrastructures have improved here over the last decade, many local families are still affected by unemployment, poverty and a lack of access to public services. Social inequality continues to increase in urban areas, and the COVID-19 pandemic was a set-back to many of the recent social gains.
Since 1971, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Bogotá.
Around 7% of the Colombian population live in extreme poverty, which means that they cannot cover their minimum basic food needs. And 7% of children aged 5 to 17 have to work and are involved in labour activities to contribute to their family’s income.
Most children work in the informal sector, and often drop out of school. In fact, only 3% of these children can combine work and school.
Every day, families and children are exposed to natural hazards in Bogotá. Due to its geological and meteorological conditions and urban development, the city is exposed to landslides, floods, and earthquakes. Air pollution is particularly severe in the capital because of vehicle emissions.
But earthquakes are the most acute threat – Bogotá is located in a complex seismic zone, and the vulnerability of the existing buildings endangers the entire city’s network. An earthquake originating in the country’s Eastern mountain range could destroy 10% of the city's buildings and cause 3,500 to 4,500 deaths.