The Peacebuilding Fund in Colombia
In November 2016, the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) signed the final peace agreement, bringing a formal end to the 53-year-old Colombian internal armed conflict. The agreement addresses many of the conflict´s root causes, including limited access to land and a wide development gap between urban and rural areas. According to official estimates, more than 260,000 people were killed in the armed conflict solely in the period between 1985 and 2016, and more than 8 million victims (including 7.1 millions of IDPs) now expect a proper response in terms of truth, justice and reparation.
Colombia entered a more difficult phase following the signature of the peace agreement and now faces the challenges of developing and implementing a process to reintegrate former combatants, taking forward transitional justice, and tackling the root causes of conflict through the corresponding provisions of the peace agreement. There is also significant opposition to the peace agreement in the national political arena, which is unfolding as the country prepares for a second presidential election round in June 2018, where one out of the two final candidates has reservations about the agreement.
PBF Investments in Colombia:
Total allocation: $17 million invested since 2014
Current portfolio: 15 million
Rule of law
Reconciliation and social cohesion
Partners: UNDP, FAO, UNICEF, IOM, UNHCR, OHCHR, UNWOMEN, WFP, UNMAS (UNOPS), HALO Trust Fund, Norwegian People’s Aid, Pastoral Caritas Colombia, CEPDIPO
The PBF has been active in Colombia since January 2014, when it supported communications for peace through the UN-led ‘Respira Paz’ (Breath Peace) campaign. The initiative was implemented through an inclusive and engaging approach that included mobile cinema, transmission of radio serial dramas and peacerelated activities in conflict-affected municipalities.
The positive messages of ‘Respira Paz’ were later complemented by a campaign spearheaded by Colombia’s business community that encourages the population to envision their individual contributions to Colombia’s peaceful future.
In 2017, PBF further supported the peace agreement accelerating collective reparation of victims in areas close to FARC cantonment sites. Reparation measures include a range of restorative actions prioritized by the victims themselves, to repair the damages suffered by the conflict. Initiatives include measures to rebuild social cohesion, repair community infrastructures and promote local agricultural and economic development. Following a request from the President of Colombia, the UN Secretary-General declared Colombia eligible to access the Peacebuilding Fund in June 2017. With PBF funding, the UN system in Colombia supported the Government in meeting some of the commitments under the Peace Agreement, and increased the confidence of populations most affected by the armed conflict in state institutions.
The Colombian Peacebuilding Priority Plan (PPP), signed in September 2017, focuses on the following three interrelated outcome areas:
1. Comprehensive stabilization interventions in territories affected by the armed conflict, aimed at promoting economic recovery and reducing the risk of a resurgence of violence, particularly as related to historically vulnerable populations, with an emphasis on addressing the needs of youth.
2. Reintegration interventions aimed at breaking the link between politics and violence by supporting the former guerrilla group’s transformation into a democratic political actor, and the design and implementation of social/economic reintegration programs, particularly in underserved urban and ethnic communities.
3. Action to accelerate the establishment and operation of the Comprehensive System for Truth, Justice, Reparations and Non-Recurrence, and providing durable solutions for victims of forced displacement.