Transition Initiatives (TI) Report - Colombia, FY2015

Speeches Shim

United States Agency for International Development Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance Office of Transition Initiatives

Country: Colombia
Program: Colombia
Funding: $6,000,000 in Transition Initiative Funds (of which $2,000,000 would be obligated post-peace accords)
Fiscal Year: 2015
Program Areas: 1.6 Conflict Mitigation and Reconciliation 2.2 Good Governance 6.1 Program Design and Learning 6.2 Administration and Oversight

This report is being submitted pursuant to the Transition Initiatives (TI) provision of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2015. This provision directs the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to "submit a report to the Committees on Appropriations at least five days prior to beginning a new program of assistance" using TI funds.

Accordingly, USAID is submitting this report in anticipation of a new Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) program in Colombia using TI funds. This program will enhance U.S. Government (USG) policy goals and complement other ongoing USG programs in the country by supporting activities that promote an enabling environment for sustainable peace. Since 2012, the Government of Colombia (GoC) has engaged the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the largest insurgency organization in the country, in peace dialogues in Havana, Cuba. Polls suggest a majority of Colombians support the peace process, although large sectors of the population remain skeptical about an eventual agreement. Regardless of whether a final accord is reached in Havana, the GoC is committed to follow through with an agenda of transformational reforms around participatory governance, institution-building, and the rights of rural communities.

USAID/OTI activities will provide short-term support to the reform agenda by strengthening the GoC’s institutional capacity to ensure regional and local participation in peacebuilding processes. The initial program approach includes working with ministries, departmental governments, municipalities, and other public agencies, as well as community organizations and the private sector, to strengthen linkages between the different levels of government and ensure broader and more inclusive participation in peacebuilding activities. A more effective relationship between national and sub-national governments is key to achieve durable and sustainable peace.

USAID/OTI assistance will focus on areas of strategic importance for the GoC’s Paz Territorial policy and related peacebuilding efforts. While specific regions of implementation will be determined based on consultations with GoC and USAID/Colombia, USAID/OTI will implement generally in areas most affected by the conflict with a long history of limited state presence. As local attitudes and perceptions around peace negotiations evolve, USAID/OTI will consider possible shifts in programming that respond to opportunities to support USG policy priorities and the GoC’s peacebuilding effort.

Initial TI funding in the amount of $6,000,000 will be used for the program and USAID/OTI anticipates the addition of future TI funds to be used.

Thursday, August 20, 2015 - 2:00pm