September 14, 2010 11:33 ET

Government of Canada Provides Funding to Protect Colombia's Children and Youth

BOGOTA, COLOMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 14, 2010) - The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Labour, on behalf of the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Co-operation, announced today that the Government of Canada is committing $22 million to protect vulnerable children and youth in

The Government of Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), will provide Plan Canada, a non-governmental international assistance organization, with $13 million over the next five years to safeguard and promote the rights of vulnerable children and youth, focusing on Colombia's Tumaco and Cartagena regions. CIDA will also contribute $9 million over three years to the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) in Colombia to support the Government of Colombia's efforts to protect and promote the rights of internally displaced children and youth throughout the country. 

"The Government of Canada is pleased to support the Colombian government's work in improving the lives of its most vulnerable citizens," Minister Raitt said. "This new funding builds on Canada's ongoing commitment to secure a better future for Colombia's children and youth by supporting efforts to safeguard and promote their rights." 

The Government of Canada's contribution to Plan Canada will support access to quality education and early childhood services for 15,000 children; protect 6,000 children and youth from recruitment by illegal armed groups by helping them to stay in school, providing recreational activities, and creating opportunities to earn income; ensure 3,000 children have civil registration documents; and provide proper nutrition to 2,500 children and youth through school food programs. CIDA's support falls under its Children and Youth thematic priority for international assistance. 

Canada's contribution to Plan Canada will also educate 70,000 people on preventing the sexual exploitation of children and directly assist with the rehabilitation of hundreds of victims of commercial sexual exploitation. 

"Colombia has made important progress in protecting the rights of children and youth," said Mr. Angelino Garzon, Vice President of Colombia. "Within this context, we are grateful for the significant and appropriate support from Canada in helping to improve the lives of Colombian children and families."

Canada's commitment to the UNHCR in Colombia will help deliver technical expertise to national, regional and local governments, as well as civil society organizations to respond to the needs of internally displaced children and youth. A key objective will be to integrate 60,000 internally displaced children back into Colombia's education system. 

Colombia is one of CIDA's countries of focus for international development assistance.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of International Cooperation
    Isabelle Bouchard
    Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
    Media Relations Office