Colombia

ADRA partners with Colombian government to end poverty

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Author: Nadia McGill

Silver Spring, Maryland- Through a thirteen-month collaboration with the Colombian government, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is working to eradicate poverty and improve the quality of life for more than 26,000 impoverished and internally displaced families in northern Colombia.

Juntos, which means "together" in Spanish, is a five-year poverty reduction project led by Colombia's Presidential Agency for Social Action and International Cooperation, or Acción Social. Its principal aim is to raise the standard of living of 1.5 million families living in extreme poverty by giving them access to national and international resources. This strategy, which is closely aligned with the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), focuses on satisfying a family's most basic needs by promoting 45 goals in nine distinct areas, including income generation and work, education, health, nutrition, habitability, legal registration, family dynamics, banking and savings, and access to the justice system.

Working in 13 municipalities in the department of Bolivar, ADRA has contracted and trained nearly 140 co-managers to work with families, helping them create a family plan, visualize goals, and access the services provided. During the project, they will follow up with families to ensure that they are receiving the valuable resources offered. At the end, a certification process will recognize families who successfully completed the goals.

"Through this partnership with Acción Social, we are helping to arm people with the knowledge, the skills, and the resources that they need to pull themselves out of extreme poverty," said Oscar Torres, director of projects for ADRA Colombia. "The goals of this strategy are ambitious, but I am confident that together we will reach them."

Today, an estimated 1.4 billion people, or one in four, live in extreme poverty worldwide, meaning that they survive on less than $1.25 a day, according to the World Bank. In Colombia, approximately 12 percent of the population lives under the extreme poverty line, which is 3.6 times higher than what the 2001 Millennium Summit established as acceptable. For that reason, the Colombian government has set aside more than $10 billion to lower poverty to eight percent by 2010.

ADRA has been active in Colombia since 1989, and currently works in the areas of Food Security, Economic Development, Health Care, Education, and Emergency Management.

ADRA is a non-governmental organization present in 125 countries providing sustainable community development and disaster relief without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race or ethnicity.

Additional information about ADRA can be found at www.adra.org.

Media Contact: John Torres, Senior Public Relations Manager, ADRA International 12501 Old Columbia Pike Silver Spring, MD 20904 Phone: 301.680.6357 E-mail: Media.Inquiries@adra.org