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Colombia: Rebuilding lives and businesses in post-conflict rural areas

Colombia is a country rich in natural resources and diverse communities. But in small towns and across the countryside, many families remain poor. Poverty levels have reached 36 per cent, with 15 per cent of rural populations living in extreme poverty.

These numbers are made worse by a history of conflict, which has created a cycle of violence and poverty in many areas.

Given the difficulty of living day-to-day amongst the conflicts, there is often a lack of capital available to small producers, like Didier, and employment opportunities are scarce.

IFAD joined with the Government of Colombia and the Spanish Cooperation Agency for International Development to create supportive environments to develop productive businesses in rural areas.

This programme assists the most vulnerable areas that have been assaulted by the recent violence in the country. To be precise, it supports families that are in the most vulnerable conditions.

Campo Emprende has an ultimate goal of reaching 36,000 rural families across Colombia. It provides services, such as loans and training, to enable smallholder producers to increase their income and lead their communities. It also recognizes the special knowledge and abilities of rural people in the country.

Almost 60 per cent of the ventures supported by Campo Emprende are led by rural women and women’s associations. So far, over 9,000 women have benefited from the programme, including Nancy, who joined with other women in her town to start a recycling business.

Campo Emprende is giving rural farmers tools to face the challenges of working amidst conflict in Colombia. With support, they can work together within their communities to make a better life for themselves and their families.

Find out more about IFAD and Colombia.