Colombia

The SDC primarily focuses its efforts in Colombia on delivering basic services and strengthening protection for victims of conflicts. However, these efforts also extend to other areas, including water access, water management and sanitation projects.

Map of Colombia
© FDFA

In 2012, the Colombian government announced that it would start formal peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). This process led to the adoption of several pieces of legislation, including the Victims and Land Restitution Act. Although roundly applauded nationally and internationally, certain factions continue to oppose these negotiations, and organised violence remains an intractable problem. The SDC concentrates its efforts in Colombia on alleviating the worrying humanitarian situation faced by the victims of conflict. Its general strategy is designed to advance the processes towards conflict resolution and reconciliation. SDC cooperation in Colombia comes in a range of forms, including bilateral and multilateral partnerships, as well as direct action.

Humanitarian Aid

Delivery of basic services to victims of conflict

Emergency humanitarian aid covers the basic needs of conflict-affected communities by giving them access to drinking water, and providing them with food and primary health care. This action not only secures the livelihoods of vulnerable populations, but also builds their institutional and organisational capacities, thereby equipping them to participate in the reconciliation process. The SDC is particularly active in rural areas.

Humanitarian Aid

Land governance

Protectionfor victims of conflict: land restitution

The Victims and Land Restitution Act, which was adopted in 2011, includes a number of mechanisms to protect the civilian population. They draw on the «Do-No-Harm» approach, which seeks to ensure that aid does not become a new source of conflict. This approach comprises three main strands:

  • strengthening institutions
  • capacity building (individual level)
  • knowledge management

The Minister of Agriculture is responsible for administering the Act according to this approach, and is assisted in this process by experts from the National University of Colombia together with CDA-Collaborative Learning Projects, an American organisation.

Engagement in fragile contexts and prevention of violent conflicts

Water

Guaranteeing vulnerable communities access to water; improving sanitation and water management

Everyone, especially those living in rural communities, is entitled to a sustainable supply of water, as well as adequate sanitation. As part of a public-private partnership, Swiss and Colombian firms studied household water consumption. Their findings paved the way for a pilot project designed to improve water management in Colombia. In turn, the knowledge and experience acquired during the project led to the launch of a second phase, this time involving seven major Colombian firms. The National Cleaner Production Centre (NCPC) coordinates the project.

Water

History of cooperation

From humanitarian aid to transition support

In 2001, the SDC opened an office in Bogota to oversee its humanitarian programme designed to improve the living conditions of victims of armed conflict. Colombia has also been an SDC priority country since 2009.

Current projects

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SuizAgua Colombia: Water footprint put into practice

Four children posing with their diploma of "guardian of water"

01.01.2016 - 31.12.2020

The project applies the water footprint (WFP) indicator to monitor and improve water use and to reduce the impacts of the business sector. Companies in Colombia have endorsed a corporate social and environmental responsibility plan that includes steps to improve their water management. Additionally, a multi-sector approach is used for the application of the WFP in Porce river watershed.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Colombia
Global
Latin America
Water
Integrated water resource management (watershed)
Water economics (governance, finance, private sector)
Integrated water resource management (watershed)
Water economics (governance, finance, private sector)
Water for agriculture and food
Water resources policy and advocacy
WATER AND SANITATION
WATER AND SANITATION
WATER AND SANITATION
Water sector policy and administrative management
Water resources conservation (including data collection)
Water sector policy and administrative management
Water resources conservation (including data collection)
Water sector policy and administrative management
Administrative costs

01.01.2016 - 31.12.2020


CHF 2'000'000



Colombia Information Management and Analysis Unit (CIMAU)

18.05.2016 - 31.05.2018

Colombia has been suffering from a protracted armed conflict, which affected the living conditions of over 7.5 million people. Colombia has a historic opportunity to achieve a peace agreement with the FARC-EP guerrilla in 2016, entering into a transition period out of conflict into local peace and statebuilding. In this post-conflict context, a data management system, taking into account not only humanitarian, but also peacebuilding and development needs is crucial to contribute to a more strategic decision making and better alignment and harmonization.


Oxfam GB: Improvement of the living conditions through WATSAN solutions, of indigenous and afro communities in Bajo Atrato, Choco, with a focus on the promotion of women’s empowerment.

18.08.2015 - 15.12.2017

The five decades running armed conflict in Colombia continues to cause humanitarian needs with consequences in terms of access to basic rights in the remote geographic zones where SDC is present, namely access to safe water and sanitation, need of protection of the communities related to threats linked to natural calamities and/or to the conflict (i.e. internal displacements, recruitments of minors, etc). Rural communities in Choco, particularly indigenous and afros, are among the most affected, whose condition is made worse because of a general absence of state authorities (poor capacity and will), which result in a general poor access to basic services such water, sanitation and health. This situation led the Constitutional court to call Colombian institutions to take urgent action to address the persistence (since 2008) of an unconstitutional state of affairs in the department of Choco.


Handicap International: Comprehensive action against Antipersonnel Mines (APM) and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) in three departments of Colombia.

01.08.2015 - 31.05.2017

The five decades running armed conflict in Colombia continues to cause humanitarian needs such as internal displacement, landmine contamination and the recruitment of minors by armed groups. Departments of Nariño, Cauca and Cordoba, by geography serve as strategic corridor to the Pacific and Caribe for the cultivation, production and trafficking of drugs, weapons and illegal mining among others, becoming scenario of social conflicts and armed confrontation. Rural communities in those departments are among the most affected by antipersonnel mines (APM) and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) which generate victims with poor access to physical and psychosocial services, as well as option for social, economic and educational inclusion.


Integral water and sanitation management for peacebuilding in rural areas ASIR-SABA Colombia

01.12.2014 - 31.12.2017

Many countries transitioning to a higher economic status still struggle on the Water and Sanitation component. In such countries where water supply or sanitation have been installed aggregate outcomes tends to mask that the quality of services is poor, that inequalities are increasing and improvements in access do often not reach those groups who suffer most. New models of intervention and financing strategy are required for such countries where the majority of poor population is concentrated. Through this new initiative By finalizing a unique scaling-up process in Peru and replicating it in post conflicts areas of Colombia SDC will also enrich the global debate on the fulfillment of the SDGs and the gradual exercise of human right to water with a new model of intervention and financing strategy.


The SABA Water and Sanitation Experience: Boosting Impact at Global Scale (SABA+)

01.12.2014 - 31.05.2018

Many countries transitioning to a higher economic status still struggle on the water and sanitation component. In countries where water supply or sanitation have been installed, aggregate outcomes tend to mask that the quality of services is poor, that inequalities are increasing and improvements in access do often not reach those groups who suffer most. Thus, new models of intervention and financing strategies are required for such countries.. Through this new initiative, and by finalizing a unique scaling-up process in Peru and replicating it in post-conflict areas of Colombia, SDC will also enrich the global debate on the fulfillment of the SDGs and the gradual exercise of the human right to water with a new model of intervention and a new financing strategy.


Multi-Country Investment Climate Program

01.01.2017 - 31.12.2024

The Multi-Country Investment Climate Program (MCICP) supports investment climate reform advisory in a total of 20 SECO partner countries. It is implemented by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a globally recognized leader in this field.


Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance (DRFI) Phase II

01.12.2016 - 31.12.2021

SECO is partnerning with the World Bank to implement the Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance (DRFI) Program to support primarily SECO priority countries in building their financial resilience to natural disasters. Countries receive technical assistance helping them in their advance planning of financing needs in the case of natural disasters.


Integral Development of Urban Water and Sanitation Utilities in Colombia

01.11.2016 - 31.12.2021

Urban water and sanitation utilities in Colombia face problems regarding service quality and financial sustainability. The Program will support 10 utilities in assessing their performance through a standardized tool, and on this basis, formulate and implement measures to improve their performance and reach a better service quality.


Sustainable Cities in Colombia and Peru

01.10.2016 - 31.12.2020

The private sector can be a source of urban infrastructure financing to close the growing infrastructure gap in Latin America. The IFC LAC Sustainable Cities Program will provide advisory services to support selected cities in attracting the private sector to develop a pool of implementable and bankable high impact infrastructure projects.


Corporate Sustainability and Reporting for Competitive Business - CSRCB Phase II

01.09.2016 - 31.08.2020

Phase II of the 'Corporate Sustainability and Reporting for Competitive Business' Programme (CSRCB) aims at promoting the integration of SMEs into global value chains by improving their sustainability reporting and performance. The programme is implemented by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and targets six developing countries.


Green Building EDGE standard Program

01.07.2016 - 31.12.2019

Buildings consume a large share of energy and water resources and are responsible for up to 20% of global CO2 emissions. This program, implemented by the IFC, aims at supporting the construction sector in several SECO priority countries to design greener buildings. By reducing energy and water use of buildings, operational costs for house owners will decrease.

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