BOGOTA, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- Much work must be done to meet the needs of people displaced in Colombia, even though much has been done already, a U.N. official in the country said.
"It is clear that there is a serious humanitarian situation in Colombia, particularly the problems of millions of internally displaced persons and that there is a requirement collectively to do more to respond to these needs," John Holmes, Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief undersecretary-general, said in Bogota.
Holmes is in Colombia to assess relief operations for victims of natural disaster and civil strife, the United Nations said Tuesday in news release.
Holmes said state and non-profit officials agree on the need to increase prevention and preparedness for natural disasters, such a rainy season that destroys tens of thousands of acres of crops. In addition, he said, violence has caused large-scale internal displacement in many areas.
Holmes expressed concern about indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities following the recent killing of members of the Awa group in Colombia's southwest region.
"There is a need to pay particular attention to the future of indigenous people and other vulnerable groups that have a special dependency on and attachment to their lands," Holmes said.