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Volume 447: debated on Monday 12 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what support his Department provides for civil society and non-governmental organisations in Colombia; and if he will make a statement. (73491)

Through the Civil Society Challenge Fund (CSCF), DFID is supporting four international NGOs who are working with civil society and NGO partners in Colombia:

i. War on Want (£214,000 over three years) is working with the Central Union of Workers in Cali in the promotion of workers and human rights in the Southwest of Colombia. The aim is to increase trade union and social organisations' capacity to defend the human rights of their constituency and to improve the Colombian Government's willingness to implement signed human rights conventions.

ii. Concern International (£322,000 over three years) with its partner the Social Pastoral of the Archdiocese of Ibague are helping marginalised groups in the district of Tolima to demand and secure their constitutional rights, including access to clean water, adequate sanitation, health care and to education.

iii. Y Care International (£46,000 over three years) with Colombian Christian Youth Associations and Youth movements are working to equip 1,200 marginalised and disadvantaged young people in Colombia with the skills, confidence and knowledge to effectively participate in local, municipal and national policy-making; implement local development and advocacy initiatives that address the needs of the most vulnerable children, young people and victims of conflict; and promote cultural heritage through participation in dance, music, drama and arts performance groups.

iv. Opportunity International UK (£343,000 over three years) is working in the district of Narino, on the border with Ecuador, to support Internally Displaced Peoples own efforts towards achieving reintegration and self-sufficiency through income and employment generation, combining the efficient delivery of financial services with social interventions such as leadership development. This initiative will serve approximately 2,100 poor micro entrepreneurs in the district of Narino.

DFID is also providing an additional £7 million a year under Partnership Programme Agreements with six international NGOs for their work in Latin America and the Caribbean. These include CAFOD, Christian Aid, Oxfam and WWF, whose work in Colombia with local partners will benefit from these additional funds.