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Colombia: The OAS and Colombia Sign Agreement to Expand Educational Opportunities and Human Development in the Region
The Organization of American States (OAS) and the National Service of Learning (SENA) of Colombia today signed a cooperation agreement that seeks to promote the exchange of knowledge, experience and skills of both the SENA and other educational institutions in the region and to strengthen the support that the hemispheric institution provides to its member states in the field of education.
The OAS Executive Secretary for Integral Development (SEDI), Sherry Tross, said the agreement "lays the foundation for establishing a program through which SENA courses will be available to citizens of other countries in the region," and enhances the capabilities of SENA in the bilingual training of its instructors. "The OAS is in a unique position to facilitate triangular cooperation and become the bridge between the interests and needs of our countries," she said, and also recalled that through this new partnership, the leadership of the SENA in promoting and strengthening comprehensive training programs will be made available to the other countries of the Hemisphere.
"At the OAS we have seen the growth in demand for technical support from several institutions of higher education, seeking to expand their training for professional development. Therefore, this partnership with SENA will enable the OAS, for the first time, to develop a program of knowledge transfer at the technical and professional levels among member states," said Executive Secretary Tross, who emphasized that the SENA" is a model of hemispheric interest based on the understanding that education is the most direct path to achieve fair and inclusive societies.”
For his part, the Director of SENA, Alfonso Prada Gil, highlighted the size, impact and recognition of the institution and the benefits that the agreement will bring to the citizens of the hemisphere. "The SENA is a large entity in terms of presence and recognition, as it meets the social function of providing vocational technical and technology skills for the most vulnerable sectors of our population, mainly young people, so that they can have a life with social mobility and with more conditions that give their lives dignity," he said.
The Director of SENA said that the agreement signed today "represents a legal instrument that will allow us to make decisions and have the resources to be able to support the region in all the ways we can based on our experience." He further noted that the SENA "has identified the need to move to a higher level, especially in bilingualism, and that cooperation with English-speaking countries can be of great value in empowering the institution in this era of globalization and new relations with the English-speaking countries."
SENA is a Colombian public institution under the Ministry of Labor, which serves to invest in the social and technical development of Colombian workers, providing and implementing comprehensive professional training for incorporating people into productive activities that contribute to social, economic and technological growth.
This three page map/infographic on the Syrian regional crisis provides a summary visualization of the events, locations, and final humanitarian data for the year 2014, intended as a reference product for users. Page 1 is a map of the conflict situation for Syria, Iraq and other neighboring countries, Page 2 visualizes the humanitarian situation for the region, and Page 3 provides data and charts on the displaced populations in Turkey, Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon.
UNICEF is requesting US$5.5 million to meet the humanitarian needs of children in Colombia in 2015.
With over six million registered displaced persons as a result of the fifty-plus year-old civil war, and 100,000 in 2014 alone, Colombia has one of the largest IDP populations of any country on the planet. Despite recent progress in the peace negotiations held in Havana, the armed conflict still generates important humanitarian needs. Nearly fifty percent of the more than seven million victims of the conflict officially registered by the Colombian Government’s Unit for the Attention of Victims are children. Key impacts on children include forced displacement, recruitment into armed groups, sexual violence (especially for girls), confinement/limitation of mobility, and death or mutilation from landmines and other explosive devices. In 20132, Colombia had the second largest number of child victims of landmines in the world. In addition, displaced, confined and affected communities lack safe access to water and sanitation, health care and nutrition, quality education and other basic services. Children remain especially vulnerable to violence, with indigenous and Afro-Colombian populations particularly vulnerable. Colombia’s acute El Niño-related drought affected health, nutrition, WASH, and livelihoods for some 5 million persons in the north
UNICEF’s action will support the three-pronged approach outlined in Colombia’s Strategic Response Plan 2015, including saving lives, supporting resilience and sustainable solutions, and promoting an effective response that puts protection first. Response sectors will include WASH, nutrition/health, education in emergencies, and child protection. Even as the peace negotiations make progress, UNICEF and partners will address the most vulnerable and under-served groups, including indigenous, Afro-Colombian and rural communities. UNICEF will lead the WASH cluster, provide water distribution systems or tankering, water treatment and safe storage supplies, and rehabilitate school and community water systems. In nutrition, UNICEF will access vulnerable conflict- or disaster-affected communities with emergency feeding programmes and micronutrients for children, pregnant and lactating women. UNICEF will lead the Education in Emergencies cluster and enhance quality education in targeted communities with supplies, training and minor rehabilitation of schools to permit a rapid recovery and return to normalcy. In child protection, UNICEF’s work will focus on the prevention of the impacts of the armed conflict on children: landmine accidents; recruitment and use by armed groups; and sexual violence.