BHP Billiton is pleased to announce the completion of the first year of a US$28.6 million project to assist vulnerable and displaced persons in Colombia.
Named ANDA, a Spanish word meaning “moving forward”, the project is led by Global Communities, an international non-profit organisation that has worked for more than 12 years implementing large-scale development programs throughout Colombia.
A charity established by BHP Billiton as part of its community investment program, BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities made the grant to the five-year ANDA project to help vulnerable people, including internally displaced persons, women, youth, Afro-Colombians and Indigenous persons in Colombia to become more resilient.
The project will help communities advocate for resources with governments, improve the ability of local governments to access municipal, departmental and national resources and increase job opportunities and market driven livelihoods, such as small business enterprises.
BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities Chairman, Ian Wood, said BHP Billiton was proud to be part of a project that will reach more than 40,000 people in six municipalities in the Department of Cordoba and the cities of Monteria and Cartagena.
“We are delighted with the high participation of the 18 communities involved in the project to date. Each community has established a representative Community Management Committee with a total of 448 people actively involved,” he said.
“The Committees have mapped community assets and are in the process of identifying community potential and prioritising initiatives for implementation. The positive energy being generated by people who have suffered enormously but who are now feeling empowered to improve their communities and their own lives is inspiring.”
Much of the international and government assistance that has been provided to economically disadvantaged people in Colombia to date has been for emergency support and short term interventions, rather than for sustainable economic and social development.
The ANDA project aims to create sustainable, long-term change by identifying community priorities and encouraging engagement in programming, building capacity of local implementers through mentoring and technical assistance, and coordinating closely with the Government of Colombia at all levels to extend the reach of services and assistance to project participants.
For more information please see the News Release or the ANDA Project Backgrounder.