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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Water and Comprehensive Sanitation Project in Rural Areas (ASIR – SABA), Phase III

01.06.2020 - 31.07.2022

The ASIR-SABA Project aims to contribute to the sustainable management and governance of water and sanitation, as well as public health, as a contribution to the consolidation of peace in rural areas of the country. To achieve its objective, the project promotes dialogue between the different actors of the WASH sector in Colombia. It also aims to strengthen the capacities at the community and institutional level (national, departmental and municipal) for the co-management of water and sanitation in rural areas of the country.

Based on the achievements capitalized by the project in its first and second phases and the challenges and opportunities identified with the different governmental actors of the WASH sector in Colombia, the SDC implements the third and final phase of the ASIR-SABA project.


IDB Migration Initiative (Clean drinking water and sanitation program for la Guajira)

01.10.2019 - 30.09.2022

Switzerland supports to the newly created Migration Initiative of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) that was created in support of Latin American and Caribbean migrants and their host communities and accordingly contributes to deter grave development crisis by empowering communities to foster integration and consequently to strengthen stability of the region and Colombia in particular.


Colombia, UNDP: UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund for Peacebuilding (MPTF)

01.04.2019 - 30.06.2022

Launched in 2016 within the “Colombia in Peace” framework, the first phase of the Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) of the United Nations for Post-Conflict for Colombia aimed to support national stabilization efforts as well as early preparation and implementation of the peace agreements. In 2019, nine donors (Norway, UK, Germany, Canada, Sweden, Ireland, Chile, Korea and Switzerland) and the UN Peacebuilding Fund have agreed to support the second phase of the Fund, focusing on strengthening the stabilization of the territories and contributing to the achievement of sustainable peace results.  


SDC Education Fund

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2022

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. 


CCCM: Comprehensive Mine Action in Algeciras

24.11.2018 - 14.11.2021

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 Colombian association accredited for humanitarian demining.


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.


Modernization of Land Management in Colombia (Swiss Tierras) - Phase II

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2024

In the past, Colombia did not have a strong land management system, thus hindering economic development. With a first phase of support, SECO started to adress this gap. Phase II will now consolidate, further deepen and broaden the support, helping Colombia move further towards a modern land administration system.


Energy districts in Colombia (Phase II)

29.01.2019 - 31.12.2023

Air conditioning in buildings is one of the main sources of energy consumption in Colombia. One way of making the production of air condictioning cleaner and more efficient is to build Energy Districts. SECO supports Colombia in promoting Energy Districts as an interesting option to improve energy efficiency in cities and lower GHG emissions.


Sustainable Recycling Industries Phase II

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2023

With the growth of the global economy and the digitalization of today's businesses and society, electrical and electronic equipment has become more affordable and in combination with short usage times of the devices Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE or e-waste) has become the fastest growing waste stream worldwide.


Global Trade Facilitation Program

17.12.2018 - 16.12.2022

Trade is a key stimulus to economic growth and fundamental to the competitiveness of developing country firms and industries. With appropriate policies and programs, trade is a major source of employment and enhanced consumer welfare for the poor.


Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility, 2018-2022

01.05.2018 - 30.06.2022

The Public-Private Infrastructure Advisory Facility is a World-Bank managed, multi-donor technical assistance facility aimed at creating an enabling environment for private sector investment in infrastructure, with the ultimate aim of improving lives through a better access to quality infrastructure services.


Global Program for Intellectual Property Rights

01.03.2018 - 31.12.2024

Intellectual Property (IP) regimes are central to promoting innovation and the development of new goods, services and production methods. IP provides the incentive necessary to pursue further research and development, and creative works. Insofar, it is part of a sound foundation for a prosperous private sector and today's world trade system.

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