BOGOTA – The United States government announced on Monday it would provide $160 million in funding to Colombia, which will be utilized in the implementation of the peace agreement signed between the Bogota and the now-disarmed guerrilla group FARC.
The announcement was made by Colombian President Ivan Duque and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) administrator Mark Green, who formalized the amendment to the bilateral agreement through which the US has delivered $754 million to Colombia for socio-economic development programs.
“These resources will go towards important work, advancing peace implementation, promoting reconciliation, supporting livelihoods in rural communities, expanding services in rural regions, improving citizens’ security, and strengthening the protection of human rights,” Green said in a USAID statement.
Duque said that the aid “will allow to close the gaps between regions with great potential but which have not necessarily had the accompaniment of integral commercialization.”
The Colombian government and FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) signed a peace agreement in 2016 and its implementation is currently being carried out.
Duque said the resources will be focused on areas such as strengthening government presence in these areas, rural economic development, reconciliation, inclusion, victims and biodiversity conservation.
He added that the funds will also be used to “close gaps” in access to safe drinking water and to allow families of small producers, who are “geographically isolated,” to benefit from the commercialization of their products.
Duque said that currently 22 collective projects are underway that benefit ex-combatants, of which 20 have been promoted by their government.
Meanwhile, Duque and the US Ambassador to Colombia Kevin Whitaker signed a joint declaration to finalize the massive land formalization pilot project and land registry that is being developed in the municipality of Ovejas in the department of Sucre.
The Ovejas pilot project has promoted the consolidation of property rights of about 2,900 peasants, more than half of which are women.
In Oveja, six out of 10 properties lack title deeds.