Pontus Ohrstedt, Head of the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund for Sustaining Peace in Colombia and Juan Carlos Mahecha, director of the Colombia Peace Fund, visited the municipality of Dagua to verify the progress of the Contingency Plan developed by PASO Colombia. This plan supports Families enrolled in the Comprehensive National Program for the Substitution of Illicit Crops (PNIS) in 10 municipalities throughout the country. In Dagua, there are 200 heads of households participating in the Contingency Plan, of which 132 are women.
The executives of the UN and the National Government, as well as the PASO Colombia team, spoke with participants who received training, accompaniment and payment for community service in exchange for their work in improving production processes, creating markets, building community infrastructures, and caring for children to allow mothers to participate in these activities. They also discussed the advances and difficulties of the program in the region with the Mayor of Dagua, Ana María Sanclemente, as well as with local environmental authorities responsible for protecting the Farallones National Natural Park that covers a large area of this municipality.
The communities, along with Mr. Ohrstedt, Mr. Mahecha, and the local authorities, agreed that the work that PASO Colombia has developed within this Contingency Plan has made it possible to overcome the difficulties that the program has faced in moving from a phase in which families replace their illicit crops, to a phase in which their production projects begin to operate. They identified the ongoing accompaniment offered by PASO, as well as the strengthening of social organizations and the creation of a social fabric as key aspects of the success of this plan.