Thursday, October 30, 2014

Colombia/EU/Foreign Governments: Lots of Money Being Donated for Reconstruction Efforts

According to The Latin American Tribune, the Colombian government and the European Union (EU) have announced the signing of ten contracts for projects that will help in the reconstruction of peace in the country.

The declaration Wednesday (October 29) announced aid worth 36 billion pesos (about 14.4 million euros or US$18.2 million).

The projects are scheduled to be undertaken in the next two years in four regions of Colombia, under the Nuevo Territorios de Paz or New Peace Territories program launched by the country’s government with support from the EU

The resources will be channeled through community associations and NGOs working in the regions affected by the Colombian armed conflict, where residents have abandoned illegal cultivation to opt for legal means.

The money invested by the EU in these projects will be allocated to the communities in the Caqueta, Guaviare, Canal del Dique and Bajo Magdalena departments for promoting peace, rural development and the fight against inequality.

“These ten initiatives will also take into account the positive experiences from several peace and development programs supported by the EU for territorial strengthening,” said María Antonia van Gool, the EU ambassador to Colombia.

COMMENT: The New Peace Territories program will be backed by a total contribution of 30.4 million euros ($38.4 million) from the EU and another 7.6 million euros ($9.6 million) from the Colombian government.

Organizations such as the United Nations Development Program, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Movement for Peace, Disarmament and Liberty and the International Committee for the Development of Peoples will take part in the initiatives.

They will be joined by other organizations such as Forum Syd, from Sweden; Hilfswerk from Austria; and Colombian ones such as the Center of Research and Popular Education, Fondo Patrimonio Natural and the Ecocacao cooperative.

The programs, some of which are already underway, will promote initiatives for socio-economic inclusion, strengthening of institutional capacities, knowledge management and territorial development.

Van Gool underlined that this aid would benefit, among others, women, farmers, young people, indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities and grassroots organizations in the four zones.

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