Canadian international assistance in Colombia
Colombia is one of the oldest democracies in Latin America. It has a diversified and fast-growing economy and an active civil society.
It is also marked by significant income inequality, weak state presence in certain rural areas, and is recovering from a decades-long internal armed conflict between the government, guerrilla movements, and armed criminal groups.
This conflict subjected the civilian population to a range of human rights violations and threats to their security. Colombia has the world's largest population of internally displaced persons (at least 6.8 million) and one of the largest numbers of landmine victims.
In recent years, the Government of Colombia has succeeded in reducing extreme poverty and in improving basic services in some rural areas. In November 2016, the government and the FARC signed an historic peace agreement ending the last major guerrilla war in the Americas.
Our international development assistance
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The overall goal of Canada's international development program in Colombia is to improve human rights and reduce inequality and poverty for the most vulnerable in conflict-affected areas, particularly for women, children, and ethnic minorities.
The Government of Colombia has identified its development priorities in its National Development Plan 2014-2018. Canada's development program in Colombia supports these priorities. Canada also plays a leadership role in overall donor coordination, including by chairing the main Donor Coordination Group and the Donor Roundtable on Gender Equality.
Fostering a more inclusive and sustainable economy
Key anticipated results:
- Vulnerable groups (including small-scale farmers, women, youth, and ethnic minorities) to receive support for sustainable economic development initiatives
- Supporting agricultural cooperatives and producer associations
- Improving credit and insurance for small-scale farmers
- Creating technical-vocational and entrepreneurship training for youth
- Assisting government agencies to better manage Colombia's natural resources
- Working in partnership with the private sector to help diversify the rural economy and improve market access for rural producers and small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs)
Education and protection of the rights of children and youth
Key anticipated results:
- Improved education access and quality in conflict-affected areas, ensuring that schools are "safe spaces"
- Increased access to leadership and conflict-resolution skills for children and youth in conflict-affected areas
- Policies and programs developed for marginalized groups, particularly youth, girls and young women affected by internal displacement, human rights violations, and violence.
Supporting Colombia’s peace implementation
Canada’s international assistance also supports Colombia’s peacebuilding efforts. This includes being the lead donor to the United Nations Multi-Partner Trust Fund for Post Conflict in Colombia, supporting landmine clearance in 10 of the most mine-contaminated municipalities of the country, and working with the government to bring protection and compensation services for 140,000 hard-to-reach victims of armed conflict in three municipalities.
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