The Colombian government and the UN will invest a combined total of more than $69 million in a project to alleviate poverty.
In an effort to help poverty-stricken communities in rural Colombia, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialized agency of the UN based in Rome, has pledged $50 million towards the “Trust and Opportunities Program.” A further $19 million will come from the Colombian government.
According to IFAD, the project is targeted at “50,000 rural families living in extreme poverty across 17 departments in Colombia. Among these are small farmers, indigenous groups, Afro-Colombian communities, families with female heads of household, rural youth and rural families who have been forcibly displaced.”
The initiative “provides the government of Colombia with an unprecedented opportunity to build peace and improve social inclusion and reduce inequalities,” said Kevin Cleaver, assistant vice president of IFAD.
Close to 13% of Colombia’s population does not have enough money to eat properly and more than 3.5 million people have been displaced by the internal conflict, according to Cleaver.
In May, Colombia had a poverty rate of 34.1%, meaning approximately 15.2 million people were living in poverty, according to figures from Colombia’s National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE). Rural poverty also remained disturbingly high with 46.1% of rural residents living below the poverty line. In the countryside, 22.1% of residents continued to live in extreme poverty.