Colombia to foster migrants' urban integration with IDB, EU backing

The Inter-American Development Bank has approved a 10.2 million euro (US$11.3 million) operation to support the urban integration of migrants' in at least five Colombian cities. The program is being financed by a grant from the European Union’s Latin American Investment Fund. The non-reimbursable resources will be transferred to the government of Colombia and the program will be executed by the Empresa Nacional Promotora del Desarrollo Territorial (Territorial Development Promotion Company, ENTerritorio).

The operation’s goal is to improve the institutional capability of beneficiary municipalities to help both migrants' and their host communities through the implementation of performance-based management systems. It also aims to foster economic integration into these communities through the creation, enhancement or improvement of workshop schools and increased access to affordable home renting.

Specifically, the program will finance the consolidation of single-window systems for qualifying cities to promote migrants' integration and regularization processes and to facilitate user access to urban services. It will also assess urban social integration progress indicators in selected cities, which will help quantify the effects of migration on local economic development.  

In addition, the operation will finance construction or renovation of at least five new workshop schools and provide salary-based grants to some 1,500 local and migrant beneficiaries of between 16 and 39 years of age. This will help offer theoretical-practical training to apprentices in trades with good income-generation prospects.

Lastly, a new Rent Guarantee Fund will help low-income families meet the conditions required to rent decent housing. This component will help some 13,500 migrants' access housing by subsidizing their rental payments over a six-month period. The program complements other efforts being undertaken by the government of Colombia that target exclusively local populations.

Due to the magnitude of the migration inflows to those areas, the operation is focusing at this initial phase on the cities and metropolitan areas of Cúcuta and Villa del Rosario; Riohacha and Maicao; Barranquilla; Medellín and Rionegro. Other cities whose populations include at least 2 percent of migrants' could also be eventually incorporated, subject to the dynamics of Colombia’s immigration flows.

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.

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Francisca Rojas
Project team leader