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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Colombia: MIRE+, Assistance to Victims of Violence

01.10.2023 - 31.03.2025

The humanitarian crisis in Colombia continues despite growing efforts towards peace. Armed groups fighting for territory and valuable natural resources inflict extreme harm on rural and ethnic communities. In line with the Swiss interest to respond to humanitarian crises, SDC remains dedicated to supporting these communities, enhancing their individual and collective resilience. The project integrates humanitarian action with a developmental and peace orientation (nexus).


COL: UN MPTF for Peacebuilding Fase III

01.10.2023 - 30.09.2024

Switzerland’s long standing support to peace efforts in Colombia serves its interests for international stability as well as human rights and is in line with Switzerland’s foreign policy interests as defined in the Federal Constitution. The contribution to the Multi-Partner Trust Fund, alongside other donors such as Norway and Germany, will support continuing implementation of the existing Peace Agreement and benefit vulnerable populations in former conflict regions. It will also underpin Switzerland’s current role in support of the government’s efforts for comprehensive peace in Colombia as well as its mandate as elected member of the Security Council. 


Contribution to UNHCR Programme Budget 2023-2024 (earmarked)

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2024

UNHCR is one of Switzerland’s key multilateral partners due to its unique mandate by the General Assembly of United Nations to provide protection and assistance to refugees, asylum seekers, refugee returnees, and stateless persons. The strategic direction 2022-26 concretise the overall mandate of UNHCR for the upcoming years. Contributing to these directions allows Switzerland to achieve in particular the human development goal defined in the Dispatch to Parliament on International Cooperation for 2021-24.


JPOs4UN Programme 2023-2028

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2028

The JPOs4UN programme aims at increasing the presence of Switzerland in the UN by augmenting the number of Swiss nationals working in SDC priority UN organizations. Switzerland directly funds partner humanitarian UN organizations to hire 11 Swiss young professionals on a three-year Junior Programme Officer contract; the Swiss foundation CINFO provides administrative support and career counselling. Swiss nationals add to a qualified and diverse UN workforce to implement the Agenda 2030.


Regional Protection and Migration Programme

01.05.2022 - 15.11.2025

Latin America faces the second largest forced displacement crisis in the world with 7.1 million people forcibly displaced from Venezuela, Central America, the Caribbean and other continents. 6.2 million more are displaced in their own country. Persons in human mobility need protection against gender-based violence, exploitation and exclusion. In Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, Switzerland addresses causes and consequences of displacement, providing aid, striving for integration and supporting actors to protect the most vulnerable.


Integrated Mine Action Program Phase 1: 2021-2025

01.07.2021 - 31.03.2025

SDC will continue supporting Colombia to meet its international commitment to be free of landmines by 2025 (Ottawa Treaty), thereby contributing to the Peace Agreement and the 2030 Agenda. The first phase (2021-2023) of the Mine Action Programme will assist mine victims and affected communities with demining operations, protection measures and socioeconomic recovery. It will also support authorities in leading and coordinating the Mine Action sector.


El Agua Nos Une - Water stewardship: evidence-based decisions

01.01.2021 - 31.03.2026

Based on Switzerland’s decade long experience on private sector engagement and empowerment of public institutions, El Agua Nos Une programme focuses on strengthening evidence-based decisions for better water governance, in 4 Latin American countries. It envisions systemic change towards corporate water use efficiency and pollution mitigation, mobilizing stakeholders and investments in ecosystem preservation; contributing to a more equitable society and responsible water use.


Nature Finance 2.0

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2026

The Nature Finance 2.0 project aims to enhance commercial banks and regulators' capacity to manage natural capital risks and opportunities. These institutions in turn set the market conditions for the ‘real economy’ sectors that they finance or regulate, shifting incentives toward sustainability.


City Resilience Program, Phase II

01.12.2022 - 31.12.2027

The City Resilience Program scales up the resilience of cities against adverse impacts of disasters and climate change. It does so by supporting risk-informed und multisector planning efforts, identify suitable interventions and investments that enhance the resilience of cities, and supports their bankability and access multiple financing sources.



IDB Amazon MDTF

01.10.2022 - 30.09.2026

The IDBs Amazon Bioeconomy and Forest Management Multidonor Trust Fund is dedicated to protect the amazon forest and to sustainably empowering its communities.


Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa, Phase II

01.07.2022 - 30.06.2026

Phase II of SECO’s support to SWISSCO focuses on leveraging the resources of all supply chain partners with the aim of effectively implementing SWISSCO’s Roadmap 2030, addressing key SDG themes such as farmers’ income, child labour, deforestation-free and climate-friendly production, transparency and traceability, innovation, and gender equality.

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