New Public Private Partnership to Reintegrate Ex-Combatants

An agreement signed this week between IOM, the Colombian
government, the US Agency for International Development and Argos,
a Colombian cement company, will make the reintegration of ex
combatants more sustainable by incorporating income generation

The new initiative aims to develop activities that promote the
reintegration into civil life of 350 persons, mostly heads of
households. Seventy five percent of the beneficiaries will be
demobilized combatants and 25% will come from vulnerable groups,
mainly women. It will be implemented in three municipalities in the
northern Departments of Antioquia and Sucre, which host a high
number of demobilized persons.

The two income generation activities that will get underway shortly
include an agriculture project, for the majority of the recipients,
and a sewing project targeting vulnerable women. The projects will
be supported by two private companies that have agreed to market
the goods produced by the beneficiaries.

The project also includes a social component that aims to foster
social cohesion for the community; a business component to improve
the competitiveness and promote associations that would allow the
beneficiaries to participate in an effective way; an educational
component that will provide 1,200 children and youngsters with
access to computers; and an environmental component that will
introduce and set up eco-friendly practices according to
sustainable agricultural practices.

Argos Cement Company is a key partner in this alliance. Argos is
the largest cement company in Colombia and the fifth largest in the
world, covering 7% of the US market.

USAID and Argos are contributing US $ 1.2 million each. IOM will
manage and monitor the project, as part of its ongoing activities
in support of Colombian Government activities that aim to
reintegration ex-combatants into civilian life.

To date, more than 32,000 persons have demobilized under the peace
agreements signed by the Government of Colombia with illegal armed

IOM Colombia works with USAID funds to support the Organization of
American States in its mission to verify the demobilization
process; provide assistance to the offices of the Prosecutor and
Ombudsperson to strengthen public policies for the reinsertion
process, and provide technical assistance to strengthen the
Referral and Opportunity Centers as well as the Tracking,
Monitoring and Evaluation Unit.

IOM also works with funds from Spain, Holland, the US and Canada to
support the Colombian National Commission for Restoration and

For more information please contact:

Rocio Sanz

IOM Colombia

Tel: +57.311 5619495 or 57.1.594 64 10 ext. 142

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