Colombia


Colombia map

 

Contributing to the irreversibility of the peace process by supporting the Colombian government
in delivering on its commitments in the peace accords and advancing bottom-up implementation.


WHY USAID/OTI IS IN COLOMBIA

Colombia has experienced armed conflict with insurgency groups for over 50 years. Among the root causes are state weakness and structural inequities that have created two nations: a modern, urban Colombia, and an impoverished, neglected, rural Colombia, where most of the conflict has taken place.

In the three years following the ratification of the peace accords with Colombia’s largest guerrilla insurgency group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Government of Colombia (GOC) embarked on a peace implementation process expected to last a generation. As the FARC demobilized and began to reintegrate, the GOC started to enact wide-ranging reforms related to rural development, inclusive political participation, transitional justice, and reducing illicit economies such as coca. USAID/OTI is in Colombia to help the GOC implement the peace accords, one of the oldest democracies in Latin America.

USAID/OTI’S ROLE IN COLOMBIA

USAID/OTI’s program, Colombia Transforma, is part of the U.S. Government’s effort to support a sustainable and inclusive peace in Colombia. The program contributes to make peace progress irreversible, by catalyzing front end elements of accord implementation, including:

  • Addressing bottlenecks in processes the GOC uses to implement the peace accords; and
  • Advancing bottom-up implementation of the peace accords in critical areas.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

USAID/OTI partners with national and local government and civil society actors in three departments with limited state presence: Antioquia, Norte de Santander, and Pacific Coast Nariño. The scale of change needed to implement peace requires an integrated effort that bridges the historic gap between Bogota and conflict zones.

  • USAID/OTI supports GOC institutions like the Agency for Territorial Renewal (ART), tasked with quickly rolling out rural development aspects of the accords in conflict regions, to build relationships with long-neglected communities. Small-scale infrastructure activities undertaken with the ART, municipal government actors, and community organizations provide tangible evidence of state presence, foster collaboration between actors critical to creating peace, and provide a model for how the GOC can carry out rapid response activities in the future.
  • USAID/OTI supports community capacity to generate peace dividends by: promoting participation and leadership at the local level; increasing mayoral engagement in rural areas; and supporting practical exchanges between agricultural producers associations, which empowers small-scale producers to take intiatives to strengthen businesses without needing central government resources.
  • USAID/OTI supports regional governments to catalyze long-term public investments in areas with a historic lack of state presence.

Last updated: January 16, 2020

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