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IDB and Switzerland Partner to Address Migration Challenges in Colombia

  • Switzerland Contributes $7.5 Million to the IDB’s Migration Initiative

During the 60th Anniversary Celebration of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Government of Switzerland announced a contribution of up to $7.5 million to the IDB’s Migration Initiative to help address the development challenges posed by sudden and large migration inflows in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The contribution is a joint effort by the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of Switzerland (SECO) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

At its core, the IDB Migration Initiative is a response to the unprecedented and sudden migration inflows experienced by the region since 2015, mostly out of Venezuela and into other South American, Central American, and Caribbean countries. These flows represent the latest and arguably one of the most pressing development challenges in the region, as well as an important opportunity to capitalize on the social and economic opportunities that migration presents for host cities and communities.

The Swiss contribution will help fund projects the IDB is putting together with Colombian authorities, which will combine grant and loan resources. Specifically, this partnership seeks to improve access to and quality of employment services, and skill certification as means of increasing economic opportunity of both migrants and the local population. In addition, it will improve access to water and sanitation in already vulnerable communities in La Guajira Department.

“The IDB is pleased to be partnering with Switzerland to help alleviate the fiscal burden that immigration is putting on host countries. Switzerland’s experience and knowledge of the region -- particularly in employment and water and sanitation provision -- will represent an important additionality to accelerate and streamline high-impact development solutions,” said Antoni Estevadeordal, Special Advisor at the Inter-American Development Bank’s Migration Initiative. “By doing so, we are ensuring that migrants and their host communities can live better together and achieve their full potential.”

“Latin American and Caribbean countries, and Colombia in particular, have shown an unparalleled, heartwarming spirit of solidarity, which stimulated Switzerland to partner with the IDB to provide tangible support to the major inclusive development challenge that sudden and large migration represents to their host communities,” said Ambassador Raymund Furrer, Governor for Switzerland to the Inter-American Development Bank. “Migrants can also provide important contributions, such as remittances, know how, investments and trade in support of their countries of origin.”

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the total number of Venezuelan migrants and refugees living in another country in Latin America and the Caribbean reached 3.5 million by September 2019, of which 1.4 million live in Colombia, making the exodus of Venezuelans the largest movement of people Latin America and the Caribbean has ever witnessed.

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. The IDB is the leading source of multilateral financing for Latin America and the Caribbean.


Bachelet,Pablo A.

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Bachelet,Pablo A.
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Granada Garces,Isabel Cristina
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