Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos (L) shakes hand with FAO Director-General Jose Graziano da Silva (R) and European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica.
21 July 2017, Bogotá – During a visit to Colombia, FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva announced USD 8.8 million in new joint work initiatives with the Territory Renewal Agency and a two-year alliance with the European Union to support the Peace Agreement that recently ended more than 50 years of fighting between the government and the FARC guerrilla movement
“The only way to peace is the way of dialogue, negotiation, cooperation, inclusion and equity, which is also the path to sustainable development in which no one is left behind,” said Graziano da Silva.
FAO is one of the international bodies – with the European Union, UNDP and Vía Campesina – designated to accompany the country in the implementation of the first article of the Peace Agreement, focused on a comprehensive rural reform to overhaul the Colombian countryside.
During his visit, it was agreed that FAO would host the Technical Secretariat of the panel that set up to organize the support that these agencies will give to the Peace Agreement.
“We want to reaffirm FAO’s commitment with Colombia in the implementation of the Peace Agreement,” said José Graziano da Silva following a meeting with President Juan Manuel Santos. ‘What is happening in Colombia is an example for the world.”
Support for areas most affected by conflict
FAO’s new agreement with the Territory Renewal Agency (ART) will mobilize USD 8.8 million to revive livelihoods in the areas historically most affected by the armed conflict.
FAO and ART will work with 2,700 families in six municipalities to support the social and productive reactivation of their territories, improving household incomes and strengthening local economies.
The main activities of this agreement will be implemented in Antioquia, Cesar, Guajira, Tolima and Cauca, and will seek to promote greater productivity, competitiveness and sustainable economic and productive processes, bringing local production and demand closer together, while incorporating actions for climate risk management.
Both entities will also work together to implement development plans with a territorial approach and fostering participation by public and private stakeholders, civil society, social, community and productive rural organizations.
FAO – EU alliance to support Colombia
Through a two-year alliance, FAO and the EU will provide technical assistance to various entities of the Colombian government, including the Agriculture and Social Prosperity Ministry.
The European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said the European Union has been a strategic ally for peace in Colombia for more than 20 years, and “will now continue to support the country in this historic stage of implementation of the Agreement.”
Together, FAO and the EU will seek to strengthen Colombian peasant associations, identifying relevant cooperative practices elsewhere, managing rural savings and credit funds, and setting up collective funds and solidarity incentives.
According to FAO, this will allow the peasant associations generate income and distribute their profits to improve the quality of life in the Colombian countryside.
FAO and the EU will carry out their work within the framework of the Impact on Food and Nutrition Security, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation program (FIRST), a jointly-managed assistance facility active in more than 30 countries.