Colombia


Colombia Map OTI

 

Enhancing Colombian ability to implement rapid response during the critical 36 months following signature of peace accords.


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 a poor, neglected, rural Colombia, where most of the conflict has taken place.

After four years of negotiations, the Government of Colombia (GOC) ratified a final peace accord with the largest guerrilla insurgency group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), on Nov. 30, 2016. Consequently, the FARC has demobilized and the GOC has begun to enact wide-ranging reforms related to rural development, inclusive political participation, transitional justice and the reduction of illicit crops such as coca. USAID/OTI is in Colombia to help the GOC jumpstart implementation of the peace accords.

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 Colombian peace. The program:

  • Increases the GOC’s ability to plan and execute rapid-response aspects of the peace process during the first three years of implementation; and
  • Promotes collaboration between local civil society and governmental actors to lead implementation of the peace accord in conflict regions.

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

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

  • USAID/OTI is partnering with new Colombian government institutions like the Agency for Territorial Renewal (ART), tasked with quickly rolling out rural development aspects of the accord in conflict regions. USAID/OTI has helped the ART to quickly establish a field presence and build relationships with strategic local actors. Initial joint activities include small-scale infrastructure improvements prioritized by communities such as schools, community centers and parks, and improvements to small tertiary roads.

  • In Putumayo, social organizations that did not work together previously have begun to collaborate and promote joint spaces for peacebuilding activities. USAID/OTI activities led to the creation of a new platform through which social organizations have a direct line of dialogue to coordinate with mayors, the governor and national agencies on the implementation of the peace accord and to ensure it reflects local realities and priorities.

  • USAID/OTI sponsored mentorship exchanges for 600 community leaders from 119 municipalities across the country. These exchanges share best practices on how to implement projects, in the spirit of the accord, that have already proven relevant and successful in other regions of Colombia.

Last updated: August 02, 2018

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