A United Nations study has found Afro-Colombians suffer worse social and economic conditions than the rest of the Colombian population.
The report, by the UN Development Program (UNDP), looks at conditions faced by the Afro-Colombian population in the context of Colombia’s progress towards its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The MDGs are eight international development goals, such as eradicating extreme poverty, achieving universal education for children and reducing maternal mortality, that all 193 UN member states have pledged to achieve by 2015.
The UNDP says Colombia’s development policies aimed at combating poverty are not effectively reaching the Afro-Colombian population.
The maternal mortality rate is four times higher than Bogota, where the Afro-Colombian population is small.
Afro-Colombians living in Bogota suffer an extreme hunger rate double that of the non-minority ethnic population – 10% versus 5%.
In Cali, the child mortality rate in 2007 was 20% for Afro-Colombians versus 12% for the non-minority ethnic population.
The report recommends that Colombia implements a national anti-racism and anti-discrimination strategy, and designs specific anti-poverty policies for areas with high Afro-Colombian populations. It also calls for Afro-Colombians to be given more opportunity to exercise their rights and have their political voices heard.