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Sida's work in Colombia

After more than 50 years of armed conflict, in 2016 the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla signed a historic peace agreement. Having already engaged in decades of development cooperation and humanitarian aid, Sida is now contributing to Colombia’s transition from war to peace. At the same time, other guerrilla groups are growing stronger and the number of attacks on leaders of civil society organisations and human rights defenders is increasing.

Sida’s support to Colombia 2020

Important thematic areas in Colombia

Progress has been made

A long conflict has ended

The historic 2016 peace agreement with the country’s largest guerrilla group, the FARC, marked the end of a conflict that had lasted for more than half a century.

Declining poverty

Poverty in Colombia has decreased. In 2008, 42 percent of the population lived in poverty. By 2017 this number had decreased to 27 percent. However, the coronavirus pandemic is expected to have far-reaching negative effects on economic development.

Colombians live longer

The average life expectancy has risen from 57 years in 1960 to 77 in 2018, according to UNDP. 

Challenges remain

Limited space for civil society to operate

The space in which independent civil society organisations can operate is increasingly limited.  

Uprise of armed actors

Since the peace agreement with the FARC, other armed actors have grown stronger – most notably the ELN (Ejército para la Liberación Nacional). Negotiations and ceasefires are a long way off, and the civilian population is being hit hard.

Effects of the crisis in Venezuela

Due to the crisis, millions of Venezuelans have fled to Colombia. Criminal groups are exploiting the situation and hindering the peace process, and the humanitarian needs of Colombia and the region are increasing; health care and schools are particularly vulnerable.

Two types of aid in Colombia

In Colombia, Sida implements development cooperation to contribute to long-term development of the country. We also provide humanitarian assistance to save lives and alleviate suffering in emergency situations.

Updated: 2 July 2021