View of the city of Cartagena on the Colombian Caribbean coast

Colombia Hopes of lasting peace and stability

Thanks to a peace deal concluded in 2016 between the Colombian government and the country's largest guerrilla group, FARC-EP (Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia – Ejército del Pueblo), an armed conflict came to an end that had lasted five decades. The fighting between government security forces, left-wing guerrilla groups and right-wing paramilitary groups had left hundreds of thousands dead.

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Government building in Colombia's capital Bogotá

Since 2016, domestic policy has focused on implementing the peace deal, which is a very challenging endeavour. The hope is that it will be possible to build lasting political and social peace in Colombia, overcome the division of society in a non-violent way, and appropriately address the crimes of the past.

Peace is still fragile, and so is the security situation in some regions. One cause for concern is the growing violence against social leaders and against people who are working for human rights, social concerns and the protection of the environment.

View of the Colombian capital Bogotá

Major challenges that the country is facing include overcoming the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and managing the large number of refugees and internally displaced persons in Colombia. According to 2022 data from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of people who have been internally displaced by violence is 8.5 million, and in addition there are now 2.5 million refugees from neighbouring Venezuela, who are likely to remain in Colombia permanently.

In June 2022, Gustavo Petro was elected Colombia's first leftist president. He was sworn in on 7 August. People have high expectations of him and he is under considerable pressure to deliver.

International cooperation

Colombia is playing a constructive role in important global development processes such as the 2030 Agenda and the United Nations climate negotiations. In response to the country's reform efforts, it was declared a “global partner” of NATO in May 2018, and in 2020 it was admitted to the OECD as a new member.

Relations with Germany

Germany and Colombia have close political, economic and cultural relations. Germany has actively followed and supported the national peace process from the beginning, and Germany is Colombia's largest trading partner within the EU.

German development cooperation with Colombia

In support of the historic peace process after more than 50 years of civil war, and also in view of Colombia's important role for global climate action and environmental protection, the German government has continuously expanded its cooperation with Colombia since 2010.

At the government negotiations in 2018, Germany and Colombia decided to establish an alliance for peace and sustainable development. Its focus is on supporting the peace process.

At the government negotiations in November 2020, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) committed about 495 million euros to its partner country. In addition, Colombia will be receiving so-called promotional loans (regular financial market funds) from KfW Development Bank amounting to over 585 million euros (some of the loans still being in the preparation stage), with the main purpose of assisting the country in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021, Germany made an interim commitment of 26 million euros to Colombia to address the urgent issues of migration and pandemic response. The next government negotiations are to be held at the end of 2022.

Cooperation focuses on the following core areas:

  • Peaceful and inclusive societies
    Areas of intervention: peacebuilding and migration
  • Climate and energy, just transition
    Areas of intervention: renewable energy and sustainable urban development
  • Conserving nature and natural resources, protecting life on Earth
    Areas of intervention: forests and biodiversity
Cielo Gomez, a coffee farmer from El Tablón de Gómez, in the south-east of the Nariño territory in Colombia. Her family has regained land that was illegally occupied as part of the peace process. Through a UN Women project, she has managed to get part of the land registered in her name. Together with other women coffee farmers in the region, she can now build a more economically stable future.

Core area “Peaceful and inclusive societies” Filling the peace deal with life Internal link

Colombian-German cooperation focuses on peacebuilding and conflict prevention. In 2018, the Colombian government and the BMZ decided to establish an alliance for peace and sustainable development.

Wind turbine in the La Guajira desert in northern Colombia

Core area “Climate and energy, just transition” Achieving ambitious goals Internal link

Colombia is an important partner for Germany in the field of climate and energy policy. Under the Paris Agreement, Colombia substantially revised its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) at the end of 2020, adopting very ambitious new targets.

A squirrel monkey in Colombia climbs over the stem of a large leafy plant

Core area “Conserving nature and natural resources, protecting life on Earth” Conserving biodiversity and forests Internal link

Colombia is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. More than half of its area is covered by forests. Some 30 per cent of the land has been made into protected areas. The country therefore has an important role for global climate change mitigation. Germany's cooperation with Colombia is geared towards conserving the country's forests and biodiversity.

Current situation

Regierungsgebäude in Kolumbiens Hauptstadt Bogotá
A farmer in Quindío province, Colombia
Coffee bags from Colombia

As at: 17/08/2022