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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Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa

01.03.2018 - 31.12.2022

The Programme supports the Swiss Platform for Sustainable Cocoa, the objective of which is to join public and private forces and promote sustainability in the cocoa value chain. Launched in 2017, the multistakeholder initiative is driven by chocolate manufacturers, traders, retailers, NGOs, research and the federal government represented by SECO.


IDB Aquafund - Multidonor Trustfund MTF

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021

The multi-donor AquaFund of the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB) provides Latin American and Carribean countries (LAC) non-reimbursable technical cooperation and pilot investment grants for the preparation of water and sanitation investment projects, institutional strengthening activities, knowledge products and innovative pilot projects.


Global Eco-Industrial Parks Programme

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2023

While it is uncontested that Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) methods are an important ingredient for a more sustainable and climate friendly way of production, their broad deployment and effective use has yet to happen.


Global Quality and Standards Programme (GQSP)

01.11.2017 - 30.11.2022

The Global Quality and Standards Programme (GQSP) implemented with UNIDO addresses challenges faced by exporters from developing countries, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) to meet and prove conformity with market entry requirements/standards, technical regulations and market requirements.


Sustaining Competitive and Responsible Enterprises SCORE, Phase III

01.10.2017 - 31.12.2021

SCORE is one of SECO's flagship programmes to foster more & better jobs in small and medium enterprises (SME) in partner countries. SCORE provides on-the-job training for workers and managers to improve productivity and working conditions in SMEs and help them to participate in global supply chains. SCORE is a joint programme with Norway and ILO.


Urban Transformation Program

01.08.2017 - 31.12.2022

Urban transformation has become one of the top priorities of Colombian cities for tackling their growing urban challenges. The SECO supported Urban Transformation Program aims at (re-)vitalizing the public space through innovative urban infrastructures in selected Colombian Cities in order to promote their economic development.


World Bank City Resilience Program

01.07.2017 - 31.12.2021

The City Resilience Program is a project preparation facility, which aims to enhance capacity and consolidate city engagement on urban resilience.It will support the establishment of comprehensive engagements in selected cities as well as the foundation of strategic partnerships in order to unlock new sources of capital for building up resilience.


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.


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.


The Sustainable Trade Initiative IDH

01.07.2012 - 31.12.2021

IDH is a neutral convener that brings together companies in a safe pre-competitive arena, acts as facilitator to organize cooperation between companies, NGOs, governments, knowledge institutes, banks and trade unions. IDH kick-starts sustainability programs by co-funding and de-risking private investments, and helps exploring new concepts that will help create scalable, self-sustaining solutions that deliver impact at scale on Sustainable Development Goals, with a focus on: improved livelihoods of smallholder farmers and increased, decent incomes for workers to help end poverty (SDG1), promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth (SDG 8), improve gender equality (SDG 5), nutrition (SDG 2) and help to halt deforestation (SDG 15) and reduce toxic loading.

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