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

Object 13 – 24 of 38

Allocation of SDC Funding to ICRC Operations in 2019

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2019

In line with the Good Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) principles, Switzerland recognizes the necessity of predictable and flexible funding to respond to changing needs in humanitarian crises. SDC funding to ICRC operations allows the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to respond proactively and to provide immediate protection and assistance for people affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence.


SDC Education Fund

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2020

As part of its increased commitment for Education and of the implementation of SDC’s Education Strategy, the SDC launches an Education Fund in order to incentivize innovation and the application of new approaches in basic education/vocational skills development and through educational activities across sectors. Innovation can have a catalytic effect on the effectiveness of programmes in and through education. Education is a core enabler for sustainable development and is an important lever in Switzerland’s commitment to promote human and economic development, peace and stability. 


Comprehensive Mine Action in Algeciras

24.11.2018 - 23.03.2020

SDC will continue supporting the clearance of antipersonnel mines explosive/unexploded ordnances/ improvised explosive devices in the municipality of Algeciras (Huila), as part of the implementation of the peace accord with the FARC-EP. This project aims to protect highly affected communities by the armed conflict and create conditions for socioeconomic and territorial development in a zone where the FARC-EP had a historic presence. This contribution will address a key issue for a sustainable peace in Colombia. It will also strengthen Campaña Colombiana Contra Minas (CCCM), which is the first and the strongest Colombian association accredited for humanitarian demining.


Strengthening spaces for the protection and participation of children affected by conflict and armed violence in Tumaco

01.11.2018 - 30.04.2020

After the sign of the peace agreement with the FARC, new dynamics of violence have raised in the territories. The expansion and reconfiguration of the non-state armed groups, post-demobilization armed groups, dissidents and other armed groups have increased the humanitarian impact, particularly in rural areas. The deterioration of humanitarian indicators since 2016 evidences the need to continue with the humanitarian response and the protection initiatives, particularly for vulnerable populations such as boys, girls, adolescents and youth as well as afro and indigenous communities.


Mental Health Project in Bosnia and Herzegovina

01.03.2018 - 28.02.2022

The project supports the health authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina to develop a sustainable system of community-based mental health care which provides quality services for persons with mental health problems and takes measures to reduce risks of development of such problems among the population. The respect of human rights and dignity of women and men with mental health disorders, their families and of those at risk of developing such disorders shall be improved as well as social inclusion and quality of life of these persons.


Scaling up of the comprehensive model of water and sanitation for promotion of territorial peace to rural areas of 6 departments of the country (ASIR-SABA)

06.02.2018 - 30.04.2020

SDC will continue, on one hand, supporting the implementation of the institutional strengthening plans in Valle and Cauca in order to guarantee the closing of processes that initiated during the phase 1. On the other hand, the scaling-up of the technical assistance model proposed by SABA will start in la Guajira, Boyacá, Antioquia and Nariño. This project aims to contribute to peacebuilding in rural territories though improving the quality of life of the rural population, through differential schemes that allow sustainable management for the provision of water and sanitation (W & S).


Strenghtening local communities and public officials’ capacities to manage conflicts over land and territories in seven departments in Colombia

15.07.2017 - 14.11.2019

SDC has supported the implementation of Land Restitution Policy throughout institutional strengthening and context analysis by applying situational approach. Due to the land restitution process’ ongoing challenges and the requirements of the Peace Agreement (with FARC), the partners have identified the necessity to work directly with rural communities and territorial authorities to develop their capacities to manage conflicts over land, and integrate into the strategy articulated actions between the local population, the authorities and the academy for the land policy’s future in Colombia. 


NRC: Protection, humanitarian assistance and durable solutions for people affected by the armed conflict in Chocó and by the humanitarian crisis on the border Colombia-Venezuela

15.06.2017 - 31.12.2019

SDC will support NRC in reducing the vulnerability of the population affected by the ongoing armed conflict in Chocó and by the humanitarian crisis on the border Colombia-Venezuela. On one hand, responding to the impacts as a result of the prolonged crisis within Venezuela, the population is expected to develop the capacity to identify protection risks and strategies to mitigate them. On the other hand, as for the internal situation in Chocó in the frame of the victims’ reparation, the project seeks to promote their active participation in processes addressed to implement durable solutions.


RNEC: provide legal identity for vulnerable people located in areas of FARC Demobilization

15.06.2017 - 31.10.2020

SDC will support the National Institution for the Registry of Civil Status (Registraduría Nacional del Estado Civil RNEC in Spanish) in the process of registration of vulnerable population located in areas where the demobilization of FARC will be carried out. Access to legal registration is a measure of protection of communities at risk or affected by armed conflict, and will also allow access to other basic and social services, such as health and education.


ApS: Territory as a space for peace: governance, education for peace and access to basic services and livelihoods as key elements for development and post-conflict in the Pacific Region

01.04.2017 - 31.12.2019

SDC will support ApS in improving living conditions of rural and ethnic communities in the Pacific Region affected by the armed conflict and natural events with a rights-based approach. The focus of this phase will be on an exit strategy that links humanitarian aid, rehabilitation and development in four departments that were under the influence of the FARC. It will contribute to peacebuilding efforts in Colombia while addressing humanitarian needs in zones where armed violence has increased and state responses have been weak.


Colombia: ACH-E; Schools and communities for peace - recovery of the social, productive and economic conditions of 14 communities affected by armed violence in the departments of Putumayo, Cordoba and Nariño

01.04.2017 - 30.09.2019

SDC will support ACH-E in finding lasting solutions to peace and the recovery of population affected by the armed conflict/violence in the departments of Putumayo, Cordoba and Nariño. The focus of the 5th phase will be on improve authorities capacities to address early recovery needs and guarantee the delivery of basic services, while bridges between the state institutions and the communities will be strengthened.


Protection of children and youth affected by armed violence and/or natural disasters, in the municipalities of Tierralta and Puerto Libertador (Córdoba)

15.02.2017 - 14.02.2020

The history of Colombia has been strongly affected by the omnipresence of armed conflict and violence. Even with the implementation of the peace agreement with the FARC, armed violence is expected to persist due to the presence of other non-state armed actors, especially in peripheral regions and poor urban areas. Several regions will remain affected by violence and human rights violations (i.e. social control by armed groups, limitation on mobility and access, use and recruitment of minors, sexual gender-based violence, threats, extortions), which requires protection and preventive actions for the affected populations. In addition, in rural and urban areas of Córdoba, the access to safe water and sanitation services is limited due to absence of state actors, which increase the vulnerability of the population.

Object 13 – 24 of 38