U.N. chief pledges aid for flooding in Colombia

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was deeply moved by the devastation he saw when he flew over the flood-affected areas of Colombia on the weekend and expressed the United Nations readiness to help the government to continue providing aid to the estimated three million people affected.

“Help and solidarity must reach all Colombians, whatever their origin — Afro-Colombian people, indigenous groups, women and children,” Ban told reporters at a joint press conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón in the city of Cartagena.

“The United Nations stands ready to help Colombia”s most vulnerable people. It is that message and our common goal to strengthen our work together that has been at the heart of my visit to Colombia and my meetings with President Santos,” said the secretary general.

He commended Colombia for playing an active positive role in South America and the Caribbean, especially its commitment to forging regional solidarity in support of Haiti.

Ban pointed out that South America is rich in experiences that are relevant to the global agenda of human rights, transitioning to democracy, combating poverty and tackling climate change.

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