Colombia and the U.S. on Tuesday signed an agreement regarding social, economic and humanitarian assistance between the two countries.
The event was held in Bogota’s Palacio de San Carlos and was chaired by Colombia’s Foreign Minister Jaime Bermudez and U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield.
Bermudez claimed that the agreement will mean U.S. aid and involvement in the Colombian vision of public policy through the Agency for International Development (USAID), reported Colombia’s Foreign Ministry website.
“Friends are friends through thick and thin … With friends you know that it counts because you share the same vision of life … and that is what America, its government … and in particular USAID, will be for Colombia,” declared Bermudez.
Presidential Advisor and Director of the Agency for Social Action and International Cooperacion Diego stated that “over the past five years the contribution of USAID in Colombia has created sectors that are helping to ensure the recovery of the Colombian countryside.”
The Director further noted that an example of USAID assistance was reflected in the planting of some 30 hectares of cocoa – a product that has all but disappeared from the Colombian market – which will help up to 20 thousand families. Due to USAID, Colombia will now be able to meet the production demand and by 2011 will be able to contribute to the global cocoa trade by exporting internationally.
Brownfield announced that “with this accord we have dedicated US$ 212 million on behalf of USAID to generate a better future for Colombia, for the United States and for the entire hemisphere.”
Since, the U.S. has provided about US$ 570 million to humanitarian programs as well as social and economic development in Colombia.