Colombia has an estimated population of 43 million inhabitants, with 46% of Colombians living in poverty. Colombia continues to be affected by internal armed conflict that has lasted over four decades, resulting in the displacement of over 4.4 million Colombians. Afro-Colombians constitute only 26% of the Colombian population, yet make up 49% of the internally displaced. Historically, Afro-Colombians have lived in poverty and have been subjected to discrimination, violence and insecurity. This is the case for the residents of the municipalities of Tumaco, Francisco Pizarro and Mosquera, where the annual per capita income is $500-$600, life expectancy is 55 years old, and for every 1,000 live births, 130 infants die before their first birthday. This region has suffered the murder of their Afro-Colombian community leaders, while warfare threatens vital infrastructure, erodes social cohesion, and has resulted in human suffering, enormous fiscal costs and depressed economic growth.
According to Colombia's 2010 National Nutrition Survey, 18% of Afro-Colombian children under the age of 5 suffer from malnutrition, whereas the national average is 13.2%. The findings of the survey also indicate that 40.2% of Afro-Colombian children suffer from anemia and 35.2% from intestinal parasites -- the leading cause of illness and death for children under 5 in Tumaco.