Supporting refugees

Shaping the future through dialogue in Colombia

Since the mid-1980s, an estimated eight million Colombians have become the victims of internal displacement on account of the conflict between state power and various armed groups. Forced to leave their rural homelands, these internally displaced persons (IDPs) settled predominantly on the outskirts of major cities. Here, they came face to face with local residents, many of whom also lived in extreme poverty. Competition for jobs, for example, often led to violence and mutual discrimination. Colombia’s current government has been striving since 2010 to eliminate the causes and consequences of the conflict. The most recent success is a peace agreement with the largest guerrilla movement FARC.

Support for IDPs and host communities in Colombia

On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ has recently been supporting Colombia with several programmes dealing with displacement and migration issues. The objective is to improve the lives of both internally displaced persons and residents of the host communities in equal measure. One programme, the ProPaz peace programme, also receives funding of EUR 11 million from the European Union. The first signs of success can already be seen. By talking with indigenous village communities, land has been set aside to enable them to once again begin practising their cultural and economic traditions. Forty small businesses have also already been set up, and over 100 local Colombians and IDPs have taken part in training courses. In total, the measures to date have improved the incomes of nearly 4,000 victims of the conflict. In addition, many public authority employees have been trained in the rules on victim compensation. This means that applications can be processed quickly and in accordance with the law and regulations.

June 2017


        
    
Act of reconciliation in El Buen Pastor prison in Cúcuta, Norte de Santander
Act of reconciliation in El Buen Pastor prison in Cúcuta, Norte de Santander © GIZ/Hanna Thiesing

        
    
Newspaper archives in the public library in Cúcuta, Norte de Santander
Newspaper archives in the public library in Cúcuta, Norte de Santander. Articles about crimes committed in the context of the armed conflict in the region are collected here. They can be consulted by the victims. ©GIZ/Hanna Thiesing

        
    
Stones reminiscent of the victims of the armed conflict in the humanitarian zone Civipaz in El Castillo, Meta.
Stones reminiscent of the victims of the armed conflict in the humanitarian zone Civipaz in El Castillo, Meta © GIZ/Hanna Thiesing

        
    
GIZ supports governmental and non-governmental agencies in the southern Colombian city of Florencia to better care for the conflict victims. On the memorial day for the victims, GIZ presented its work with a photo series.
GIZ supports governmental and non-governmental agencies in the southern Colombian city of Florencia to better care for the conflict victims. On the memorial day for the victims, GIZ presented its work with a photo series. © GIZ