Representatives from the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and the Autonomous Communities of Spain from La Rioja, Canarias, Murcia and Castilla and Leon visited Darien, Panama, to view the humanitarian interventions implemented by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Panama Red Cross Society (PRCS) in the region.
Through an Agreement referring to the humanitarian action subscribed by the decentralized cooperation and AECID, the Spanish Cooperation supports IFRC’s Regional Emergency Appeal for Migration in the Americas.
The delegation went to Metetí, La Peñita and Lajas Blancas, in the Darien Province (near the border between Panama and Colombia), where IFRC and Panama Red Cross Society actively support migrant communities in transit to North America.
As part of the actions developed in La Peñita, both local and migrant community members receive access to water, washing stations, andprimary and basic health services. Additionally, information sessions on hygiene, health, and information about migratory status are provided.
During meetings with host community members, migrants, public officials from the Panamanian government and international organizations working on the area, it became clear that there is a need to strengthen actions on health and protection to limit the extreme vulnerability of migrants in this remote and largely undeveloped zone.
Current estimates indicate that migratory flows through Darien will likely increase in coming months. It is of the utmost importance to reinforce the humanitarian response for this transit community, with coordination between public Panamanian institutions and humanitarian organizations in the area being the key to success.