Job opportunities and higher income for internally displaced persons and host communities
Title: PROINTCAME: Participation of internally displaced persons and host communities
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Colombian Presidential Agency of International Cooperation (APC-Colombia)
Overall term: 2018 to 2020
For the past 50 years, armed conflict has shaped Colombia, giving rise to a complex network of economic, social, political and cultural upheavals. One devastating consequence is the large number of internally displaced persons – more than seven million in 2018, according to the Colombian victim reparations authority. The people who have been displaced individually or collectively within the country had to leave their villages and farms and sought refuge in larger communities or provincial capitals. A number of processes to demobilise armed groups laid the foundation for internally displaced persons to return to their communities of origin.
To promote local economic development, the Colombian Government has developed funding programmes for employment projects. With the help of these programmes, new sources of income are being created in coffee and cocoa cultivation as well as in livestock breeding and milk production. Support is also provided for microenterprises in the cities.
Income and employment opportunities for internally displaced persons and host communities in Meta and Caquetá have increased.
The PROINTCAME project aims to accelerate income growth and job creation by supporting producer associations and microenterprises. This includes strengthening municipal employees and supporting producers in applying for and implementing available funding programmes. To this end, the project provides support for the departments of Meta and Caquetá.
The results of this collaboration will then be applied to develop a set of methods that can be used to plan and implement future activities.
Initial results are already being seen: A large number of producer associations and microenterprises that have made it through their critical early stages are now in the process of economic stabilisation.
In the Meta region, 25 producer organisations are receiving support in improving production and marketing of coffee and cocoa products and in honey production. A women’s association, which is active in areas including natural cosmetics, is also supported. In addition, around 100 microenterprises are receiving training to improve their administrative processes and market access. Of these, 60 with promising business models will be selected and will receive further support in putting their business ideas into practice.
In Caquetá, there is a novel type of cooperation between the tax office, the local job placement services, the local university (Universidad de Amazonia), the International Organization for Migration (OIM) and PROINTCAME designed to support unemployed internally displaced persons. In addition to 150 job seekers receiving better training and psychosocial counselling, medium-sized and large companies receive information about the tax benefits of employing internally displaced persons. The companies are also assisted during the recruitment process.