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Colombia: From displaced people to micro-entrepreneurs in Colombia

Colombia - Chad - 20 December 2014 - 11:49pm
Source: UN Development Programme Country: Colombia

In March 2013, Betsaida Estupiñán hugged her two daughters and her husband and said: "We have no other choice but to get out of here." Despite having their own home and bakery, the family left the port city of Tumaco and set out on a well-travelled path that has already witnessed an exodus of more than 5 million Colombians displaced by the armed conflict.

With little money, the family arrived in the south of Bogotá. By now very vulnerable, they considered returning to the port. To their dismay, they learned that the house they had so painstakingly built in Tumaco had been destroyed. "But we wouldn't let ourselves be defeated,” remembered Betsaida. “We looked at each other, and then thought of the girls. It was of the utmost important to provide them with an education. We could either break down in tears or start working. We opted for the second option, and here we are today."

Highlights

  • Since 2012, 1,100 businesses in 25 cities have participated.

  • Just over a third of the population lives below the poverty line.

  • Over 96% of the business sector is composed of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

Helped by a church, the couple found a place to stay and started to sell the pies and cheese sticks they made. However, there was barely enough money to pay for the bills, food, and education of the girls.

"It was just one of these seemingly chance events, but the misfortune of being displaced resulted in the fortune of finding out about the Suppliers Development Programme (SDP), through a consultant who visited us. The program has changed our lives," says Betsaida.

This program, initiated in 2012 with the support of several agencies of the Colombian Government, seeks to promote economic inclusion while improving the competitiveness of small and medium-sized companies. At present, 1,100 businesses in 25 cities throughout the country are involved, and over 250 of these businesses are owned by individuals displaced by violence. The business units cater primarily to the food, utilities, clothing and crafts sectors, and it is anticipated that the program will be replicated in other regions.

The project is based on a six-stage methodology (promotion, diagnostic assessment, interaction, improvement plan, implementation and replicability) which optimize the business practices of the participating enterprises. Specialized consultants assist the companies for a period of 6-10 months.

"The program objective is to ensure that micro-entrepreneurs can increase their income, establish a business network with major companies in the country, and create sustainable businesses that improve the quality of life of their families," says Fernando Herrera, Coordinator of the Poverty and Sustainable Development Area, UNDP in Colombia. “We set out to help individuals living in a state of poverty and vulnerability, many of them victims of the armed conflict."

Unemployment in Colombia reached 8.8 per cent in the three months between July and September 2014, according to the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE). Just over a third of Colombia´s population lives below the poverty line, and 1 in 10 people live in a state of indigence.

With the support of the program, Betsaida followed her instinct: "Here the shrimps are not as good as in Tumaco, nor are the rice with coconut or the fish. So why not start our own company providing food like they serve in Tumaco?" she thought.

The couple founded "Sabor Tumaqueño", a small family-run business that sells lunches based on typical Pacific recipes and rice pudding. "It has proved to be a great success. We already have a regular flow of customers. Our restaurant has taken off to the extent that we can afford to rent a property in the Bosa area and provide an education for our daughters," says Betsaida.

"Our dream is to buy our own home and to have a restaurant or business of our own also, and then to travel back to Tumaco to visit our family ... We always dream of returning. But for now, we thank God and life for the opportunities that we have been given."

UNDP provided initial funds to launch the project, and currently selects and trains consultants to provide specific advice in each of the business units.

This programme is based on the successful models that UNDP first implemented in Mexico, El Salvador and Haiti, and also extended to Africa in 2014.

Colombia: Colombia rebels begin indefinite, unilateral ceasefire

Colombia - Chad - 20 December 2014 - 5:20pm
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Colombia

Bogota, Colombia | AFP | Saturday 20/12/2014 - 20:55 GMT

Leftist rebels in Colombia began a unilateral ceasefire Saturday hailed as a key step in peace negotiations -- but uncertainty marred the truce, which the guerrillas threatened to break if attacked by the army.

"Today, the FARC's unilateral and indefinite ceasefire began. I hope it will turn into a bilateral and final ceasefire, and we can put an end to a war that's lasted more than 50 years," President Juan Manuel Santos said at a ceremony in La Guajira in the country's northeast.

Santos, who earlier had called the ceasefire "a positive gesture that goes in the right direction," added that he hoped the move would facilitate ongoing peace talks in Havana.

In a message published shortly before the ceasefire took effect just after midnight, the FARC welcomed Santos' stance on the truce, and asked him "not to stand in the way of the people's desire to know their country without the roar of bombs and machine guns."

Under the ceasefire, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) says its fighters will only engage in hostilities if they come under attack first.

The FARC had declared Christmas ceasefires in each of the past two years, but this is the first without an expiration date.

Santos, who has made the peace talks his top political priority, has rejected any bilateral ceasefire, saying the guerrillas could take advantage of a truce to regroup, dragging out the conflict.

On the eve of the ceasefire Friday, FARC fighters ambushed a patrol in western Colombia, killing five soldiers.

The attack had a familiar ring for Colombians.

The rebels had also staged attacks just before their 2012 and 2013 ceasefires, showing their strength before putting down their guns.

But officials said the attack didn't threaten the peace talks aiming to end Latin America's longest-running conflict, which over the past 50 years has killed some 220,000 people and displaced 5.3 million more.

The talks only just re-started after being suspended when the FARC captured an army general who headed an anti-rebel task force in the jungle-covered region of Choco, their highest-ranking captive ever.

The FARC released the general on November 30 in order to revive the stalled talks.

Though the ceasefire is an important step, it will not necessarily see the end of armed conflict in Colombia.

Another rebel group called the National Liberation Army (ELN) may try to take advantage of the lull in hostilities.

The second-largest guerrilla group after the FARC, the ELN this week kidnapped a mayor in Choco and killed three policemen in a separate attack.

lda/wat/mdl

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Syrian Arab Republic: 18 December 2014: Syria – IDPs and refugees

Iraq - Maps - 19 December 2014 - 2:22pm
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department Country: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey

Iraq: Iraq IDP crisis - Displacement Flows, January 1 to December 9 2014, IOM (DTM) Dashboard

Iraq - Maps - 19 December 2014 - 1:07pm
Source: International Organization for Migration Country: Iraq

Indonesia: Landslide, Karangkobar subdistrict, Central Java Province, Indonesia (as of 16 December 2014)

Indonesia - Maps - 19 December 2014 - 12:32pm
Source: International Charter Space and Major Disasters Country: Indonesia

Colombia: FARC rebels kill 5 Colombian soldiers on eve of ceasefire: army

Colombia - Chad - 19 December 2014 - 11:06am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Colombia

Bogota, Colombia | AFP | Friday 12/19/2014 - 19:57 GMT

by Paula CARRILLO

Colombia's FARC guerrillas killed five soldiers Friday in an attack that came on the eve of a unilateral ceasefire hailed as a key step in peace negotiations, the army said.

FARC fighters ambushed a patrol in the rural area of Santander de Quilichao in western Colombia, in a pre-dawn attack that also left five soldiers lightly wounded and one missing, the army said.

The incident came a day before the leftist guerrilla group was due to begin an indefinite, unilateral ceasefire, a move the European Union and United Nations had praised as a positive step to accelerate the peace talks aimed at ending the 50-year-old conflict.

President Juan Manuel Santos condemned the attack and said the soldiers had died "defending the security of their fellow Colombians."

The commander of the brigade that was attacked, General Wilson Chawez, vowed the army would continue fighting the "terrorists" regardless of the ceasefire, which was announced Wednesday and begins Saturday.

"We're going to pursue our military operations. It's a unilateral ceasefire. We're an army that remains on the offensive," he told journalists.

Under the ceasefire, the FARC says its fighters will only engage in hostilities if they come under attack first.

The unprecedented move had raised hopes of a new breakthrough in the peace talks being held in the Cuban capital Havana, which opened in November 2012.

The FARC had declared Christmas ceasefires in each of the past two years, but this is the first without an expiration date.

On Thursday, Santos called the gesture a "gift... full of thorns" and again rejected the rebels' longstanding demand for a bilateral ceasefire, which he says they would use to regroup.

The attack on the eve of the ceasefire had a familiar ring for Colombians.

The rebels had also staged attacks just before their 2012 and 2013 ceasefires, showing their strength before putting down their guns.

  • Attacks 'exhaust political credibility' -

The attack is the latest blow to the peace talks, which have encountered rocky terrain in recent weeks.

Last month, the FARC captured an army general who headed an anti-rebel task force in the jungle-covered region of Choco, their highest-ranking captive ever.

The incident caused Santos to suspend the peace negotiations, which he has made the centerpiece of his administration despite fierce criticism from the opposition.

The FARC released the general on November 30 in order to revive the stalled peace talks.

Defense and security expert Jairo Libreros said Friday's attack meant the FARC risked squandering the bargaining power it gained with the general's release and the ceasefire declaration.

"This kind of action just before a unilateral ceasefire ends up exhausting the FARC's political credibility. And right now the political variable is more important than force," said Libreros, a professor at the Universidad Externado de Colombia.

The talks in Havana are the most promising effort yet to end the five-decade guerrilla war, which has defied three previous attempts.

The conflict has killed 220,000 people and uprooted more than five million, according to the government.

It has drawn in multiple leftist rebel groups, right-wing paramilitaries and drug gangs at various times since the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) was founded in the aftermath of a peasant uprising in 1964.

In a further setback, rival guerrilla group the National Liberation Army (ELN) killed three police officers in the northern town of Toledo hours before the FARC attack, officials said.

Police offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the attackers' capture.

The government has held preliminary talks on opening a separate peace process with the ELN, but the two sides have not yet formally sat down to negotiate.

pcp/jhb/jm

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Central African Republic: République centrafricaine : UNHCR protection monitoring et reponse (as of 15 December 2014)

CAR - Maps - 19 December 2014 - 8:16am
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Central African Republic

Central African Republic: Central African Republic: CMP - Sites IDPs RCA (as of 11/12/2014)

CAR - Maps - 19 December 2014 - 8:05am
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, CCCM Cluster Country: Central African Republic

World: Global Weather Hazards Summary December 18 - 25, 2014

Zimbabwe - Maps - 19 December 2014 - 4:17am
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network Country: Angola, Belize, Botswana, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia, South Africa, Tajikistan, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Abnormal dryness expected to continue in East and Southern Africa

Africa Weather Hazards

  1. Although good rainfall was observed over the Greater Horn of Africa in late November and early December, the delayed onset of the October December rainy season, combined with an erratic distribution of rains during the season, has already negatively impacted ground conditions in northern Kenya and southern Somalia. As the season is coming to an end, a recovery is unlikely.

  2. Insufficient rainfall since the beginning of October has led to dryness and delayed planting throughout eastern Zambia, northern Zimbabwe, western and central Mozambique, and southern Malawi. Moderate to heavy rains are forecast in western and northern Zambia during the next week, which should help alleviate dryness.

  3. Prolonged dry spells since October have resulted in large rainfall deficits and below-average vegetation conditions over parts of eastern Zambia, Malawi, western and northern Mozambique. Light to moderate rains are forecast in eastern Zambia and Malawi during the next week, which could sustain drought conditions.

  4. While much of South Africa has received adequate rains since the beginning of the Southern African monsoon, the northernmost and eastern parts of the country have received below-average rains, affecting regional agricultural conditions.

Moderate to heavy rains are forecast over the Limpopo province of South Africa during the next week, which should help reduce moisture deficits.

  1. Below-average rainfall since the start of the season has resulted in large moisture deficits and poor ground conditions in western Madagascar. Little to no rainfall is expected in western Madagascar this week, potentially worsening conditions.

World: Global Weather Hazards Summary December 18 - 25, 2014

Somalia - Maps - 19 December 2014 - 4:17am
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network Country: Angola, Belize, Botswana, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia, South Africa, Tajikistan, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Abnormal dryness expected to continue in East and Southern Africa

Africa Weather Hazards

  1. Although good rainfall was observed over the Greater Horn of Africa in late November and early December, the delayed onset of the October December rainy season, combined with an erratic distribution of rains during the season, has already negatively impacted ground conditions in northern Kenya and southern Somalia. As the season is coming to an end, a recovery is unlikely.

  2. Insufficient rainfall since the beginning of October has led to dryness and delayed planting throughout eastern Zambia, northern Zimbabwe, western and central Mozambique, and southern Malawi. Moderate to heavy rains are forecast in western and northern Zambia during the next week, which should help alleviate dryness.

  3. Prolonged dry spells since October have resulted in large rainfall deficits and below-average vegetation conditions over parts of eastern Zambia, Malawi, western and northern Mozambique. Light to moderate rains are forecast in eastern Zambia and Malawi during the next week, which could sustain drought conditions.

  4. While much of South Africa has received adequate rains since the beginning of the Southern African monsoon, the northernmost and eastern parts of the country have received below-average rains, affecting regional agricultural conditions.

Moderate to heavy rains are forecast over the Limpopo province of South Africa during the next week, which should help reduce moisture deficits.

  1. Below-average rainfall since the start of the season has resulted in large moisture deficits and poor ground conditions in western Madagascar. Little to no rainfall is expected in western Madagascar this week, potentially worsening conditions.

World: Global Weather Hazards Summary December 18 - 25, 2014

Haiti - Maps - 19 December 2014 - 4:17am
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network Country: Angola, Belize, Botswana, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia, South Africa, Tajikistan, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Abnormal dryness expected to continue in East and Southern Africa

Africa Weather Hazards

  1. Although good rainfall was observed over the Greater Horn of Africa in late November and early December, the delayed onset of the October December rainy season, combined with an erratic distribution of rains during the season, has already negatively impacted ground conditions in northern Kenya and southern Somalia. As the season is coming to an end, a recovery is unlikely.

  2. Insufficient rainfall since the beginning of October has led to dryness and delayed planting throughout eastern Zambia, northern Zimbabwe, western and central Mozambique, and southern Malawi. Moderate to heavy rains are forecast in western and northern Zambia during the next week, which should help alleviate dryness.

  3. Prolonged dry spells since October have resulted in large rainfall deficits and below-average vegetation conditions over parts of eastern Zambia, Malawi, western and northern Mozambique. Light to moderate rains are forecast in eastern Zambia and Malawi during the next week, which could sustain drought conditions.

  4. While much of South Africa has received adequate rains since the beginning of the Southern African monsoon, the northernmost and eastern parts of the country have received below-average rains, affecting regional agricultural conditions.

Moderate to heavy rains are forecast over the Limpopo province of South Africa during the next week, which should help reduce moisture deficits.

  1. Below-average rainfall since the start of the season has resulted in large moisture deficits and poor ground conditions in western Madagascar. Little to no rainfall is expected in western Madagascar this week, potentially worsening conditions.

Colombia: “Consideraciones ambientales para la construcción de una paz territorial estable, duradera y sostenible en Colombia”

Colombia - Chad - 19 December 2014 - 3:25am
Source: Government of Colombia, International Organization for Migration, UN Development Programme, UN Office on Drugs and Crime, UN Environment Programme, Food and Agriculture Organization Country: Colombia

Este documento analiza los riesgos, impactos y oportunidades de la construcción de paz para el desarrollo sostenible territorial y gira alrededor de tres temas: el primero tiene que ver con el ordenamiento territorial; el segundo tema se refiere a las oportunidades de desarrollo local que se pueden dar si se hace un aprovechamiento sostenible del patrimonio natural; y el tercer tema se relaciona con la gobernanza, el fortalecimiento de la organización comunitaria y la institucionalidad ambiental. Por último, se hace una mención especial a la actividad extractiva en el posacuerdo.

La gran paradoja del posacuerdo y del proceso de construcción de paz, puede ser la de sus implicaciones en el medio ambiente del país. De la incorporación de consideraciones de sostenibilidad ambiental en la planificación e implementación de los acuerdos, dependerá que la construcción de paz se convierta en una oportunidad para desarrollar modelos sostenibles; Ignorar o desconocer ese aspecto, podría conducir a la destrucción del patrimonio natural de la Nación y al fracaso económico y social de muchas de las intervenciones que se implementen.

Colombia: Caquetá: Análisis de conflictividades y construcción de paz

Colombia - Chad - 19 December 2014 - 3:20am
Source: UN Development Programme Country: Colombia

Para asegurar una visión integral de los territorios, el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo -PNUD- está produciendo una serie de análisis territoriales sobre los esfuerzos de construcción de paz y las conflictividades que allí se presentan.

Se trata de varios documentos de los departamentos de Caquetá, Cauca, Meta, Nariño, Antioquia, Cesar, Santander, Arauca, Córdoba y la región del Catatumbo. Un análisis más se está realizando actualmente sobre el Tolima. De los 10 documentos ya se pueden consultar los de Caquetá y el de la región del Catatumbo y en las próximas semanas estarán disponibles los restantes.

Colombia: Catatumbo: Análisis de conflictividades y construcción de paz

Colombia - Chad - 19 December 2014 - 3:16am
Source: UN Development Programme Country: Colombia

Para asegurar una visión integral de los territorios, el Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo -PNUD- está produciendo una serie de análisis territoriales sobre los esfuerzos de construcción de paz y las conflictividades que allí se presentan.

Se trata de varios documentos de los departamentos de Caquetá, Cauca, Meta, Nariño, Antioquia, Cesar, Santander, Arauca, Córdoba y la región del Catatumbo. Un análisis más se está realizando actualmente sobre el Tolima. De los 10 documentos ya se pueden consultar los de Caquetá y el de la región del Catatumbo y en las próximas semanas estarán disponibles los restantes

Colombia: Balance de los organizadores al término de las visitas de las víctimas a La Habana

Colombia - Chad - 19 December 2014 - 2:53am
Source: Government of Colombia, UN Development Programme Country: Colombia

(Bogotá, 18 de diciembre de 2014) El mecanismo que concluyó el 16 de diciembre, consistente en los encuentros directos por parte de 60 víctimas del conflicto armado con los equipos negociadores de paz, constituye un esfuerzo importante de parte del Gobierno de Colombia y de las FARC-EP en el marco de las conversaciones de paz que puede contribuir al reconocimiento de la dignidad de las víctimas del conflicto armado interno y a la asunción de sus obligaciones nacionales e internacionales frente a las mismas.

Las visitas de las víctimas a La Habana no han sido un fin en sí mismo, fueron un medio para que los diferentes actores involucrados en el conflicto armado reconozcan la dignidad de las víctimas, reconozcan su responsabilidad por los daños causados, orienten los acuerdos a la realización de los cambios requeridos para evitar su repetición y definan la adopción de las acciones necesarias para restaurar los derechos de las víctimas.

La participación de las víctimas en las negociaciones de paz no tiene precedentes en el mundo a este nivel en términos del número de personas que han tenido ocasión de hacer oír su voz a través de diferentes medios.

Más información

PNUD

Elizabeth Yarce

elizabeth.yarce@undp.org

Tel: 4889000 Ext. 131

3006540690

Aleida Patarroyo

3002676187

Universidad Nacional

Nelly Mendivelso

Tel 316 5000 ext.18108

Conferencia Episcopal 4375540 ext 251

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