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Migrants’ Urban Integration Project in Colombia Receives Support from Korea

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The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) approved a technical cooperation of $4 million donated by the Knowledge Partnership Korea Fund for Technology and Innovation to support management and planning processes for the integration of migrants in Colombian cities, with a focus on service delivery, access to housing, and urban development scenarios for future growth. The program will be executed by the Empresa Nacional Promotora del Desarrollo Territorial (Territorial Development Promotion Company, ENTerritorio).

This technical cooperation will complement a grant from the European Union’s Latin American Investment Fund that seeks to foster the urban integration process of migrants in Colombia, and is also aligned with the purpose of an IDB operation (CO- L1155), focused on contributing to the improvement of the fiscal and urban sustainability areas in Colombian cities through the financing of institutional strengthening and physical investment projects.

The complex economic, political, and humanitarian situation in Venezuela has forced more than 4 million people to flee the country to other Latin American and Caribbean countries, mostly since 2015. Colombia hosts many of these migrants, with over 1.8 million people having crossed the border to remain in the country by the end of 2019. The rapid influx of new residents is generating informal settlements in high-risk areas, increasing the spontaneous occupation of public spaces, and generating overcrowded housing conditions with consequences for public health and public safety.

To address these areas that already represented challenges for Colombian municipalities before the arrival of migrants, Korea has made available to Colombia its expertise in addressing challenges of rapid urbanization. Learning from the Korean experience is valuable given that Korea successfully tackled its own informal housing issues through the Joint Redevelopment Program (JRP), an urban renewal strategy introduced in 1984 that replaced informal settlements and delivered over a million housing units.

This cooperation focuses on using information technology solutions and analytical work to establish urban growth policy priorities, and innovation-related pilots and training initiatives to increase municipalities’ capacity to improve and plan for housing, infrastructure and urban growth.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.