Colombia Hopes of lasting peace and stability
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.
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.
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
As at: 17/08/2022