Now, while Colombia is still a beautiful country that has a landscape marked by rainforests, the Andes mountains, and a plethora of coffee plantations, poverty and inequality have been two major issues in Colombia over the past few years. In fact, in 2018, there was a big increase in the poverty level that saw about 346 children die of hunger in that year alone all while the three richest men in the country reportedly owned more than ten percent of the country’s GDP. Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic, matters have become even worse and the lack of support from the government has sparked demonstrators to take to the streets to protest. The city of Medellin has been doing all that it can in order to combat this rise of poverty despite the lack of aid it receives from the government. Through many different local organizations along with citizens working together, the goal is simply to improve the quality of life for the people.
Even despite the economic growth that Colombia has seen where it is among one of the world’s emerging economies, you will still find that more than three out of ten citizens live in poor conditions. Colombia is also the seventh most inequitable country in the world. In addition, the lack of government support/aid along with violent internal conflicts have been going on for over fifty years. Going back to 1985, over 5.9 million Colombians have been displaced, forcing them to migrate to urban areas and create informal settlements on the cities’ borders. The World Bank even reported once that if the country had found just twenty previous years of peace, the income per capita may have been fifty percent higher than it currently is now.
As it stands, there are more than 12.7 million people in Colombia who live on less than two dollars a day and according to Opportunity Colombia, only 2.5 percent of Colombians are using microfinance services. Proving these facts are important to give a better understanding of the social and economic struggles that people in Colombia are facing. This is why Restoring The Peace has committed its efforts to provide as much support and aid to Medellin, Colombia through their work with some of the local organizations in the area. We look forward to partnering with organizations such as MATT and Feed the Barrios as we look to provide resources, jobs, and basic necessities to those in need.
We will continue to document and highlight the work that needs to be done and is currently being done to aid the citizens in Colombia, so stay tuned for future updates along with opportunities to show your support in improving the quality of life for these communities!