From the ground: Chocó. Poverty. SDG1 EN


From the ground: Chocó. Poverty. SDG1

Lina Marcela Muñoz
Sociologist. Policies for equality
Director PROCLADE COLVEN

Colombia is a country that has 32 departments and 1,102 municipalities; both the national government and the departmental and municipal governments have the challenge of planning and implementing actions aimed at complying with the ODS in the territories through their incorporation into the territorial planning instruments, in such a way that resources of all types are committed. Such is the case of the department of Chocó for the current government mandate between 2019-2023, which proposes the ODS as a transversal policy.

The department of Chocó is an ethnic territory with 30 municipalities and a population of 544,764. Ninety-six per cent of the territory is made up of 683 collective territories of black communities and 125 shelters for indigenous peoples. According to DANE, 55.4 per cent of the department's total population lives in rural areas and 44.6 per cent in urban areas. 

Unfortunately, this territory is in the first places when it comes to problems in Colombia, an issue that is related to its treatment throughout history as a zone of natural resources' pantry, which did not deserve the presence and investments of the governments for the realization of the citizenship, being the Claretian Mission, which with its presence in the dawn of the S. The Claretian Mission, with its presence at the beginning of the 20th century, contributed to the construction of communities, peasant and ethnic organizations, schools, among many other works that allowed the Choco community to face serious social problems, even in more than 70 years of armed conflict, promoting strategies to take people away from the bloody war, even today with a peace agreement at high risk.

Thus, before the ODS 2030 agenda much could be said about Chocó, since much remains to be built in order to achieve sustainable development with respect and protection of the forms of life in the center. In the coming days, we will present an analysis of the advances and challenges of the department from the 5P methodology, in this case we will limit ourselves to the PERSONS or 1P axis that includes the first five ODS, that is: Ending Poverty, Zero Hunger, Health and Well-being, Quality Education and Gender Equality, with the purpose of understanding in part the complex reality that Chocó faces and daring to dream of strategies that contribute to the realization of a dignified life for all Chocoans. 

ODS 1- ENDING POVERTY: Ending poverty in all its forms around the world

The problem of poverty in Chocó refers us to a debt that the country has with the Chocoana society, because it is a historical drama that continues to be perpetuated as a consequence of the state abandonment and the plundering. According to data provided by public entities, especially by DANE in the last population census in 2017, the department of Chocó has the highest rate of unsatisfied basic needs - UBN of the country located at 79.19%, compared to 27.78% of the national average. With regard to the poverty index, this reaches 58.7% when the national measure is 26.9%; the extreme poverty index is 32.7%, while at the national level it was 7.4%, the Gini Coefficient is 0.566 and unemployment is above 9.8%. These data show a disastrous situation for a population of special attention such as ethnic groups.

In line with the ODS1, it is found that the percentage of affiliation to the social security system in health 89.4%, (2016) coverage that is achieved by the obligatory affiliation through the SISBEN system although only exists a second level hospital (hospitalization, Internal Medicine, Gynecology and Obstetrics, General Surgery, Pediatrics, Anesthesiology and Dentistry) for a department that is around 520 thousand inhabitants, on the other hand we find that 20. 5% of the employed population contributes to the pension system and 18% of the employed population is affiliated to an Occupational Risk Management company, reflecting the high level of informality in the department.

CHALLENGES FOR THE ODS1:

To achieve its goals with respect to the ODS1 at the national level, the government is based on the following three proposals: 1) Investment between 2018-2022 in the Equity Pact of the National Development Plan, which hopes to reduce multidimensional poverty by 2.5 million people; 2) Income poverty, which hopes to lift 2.9 million people out of monetary poverty and 1.5 million out of extreme monetary poverty, between 2018 and 2022, but does not explain its strategy; and 3) Multiply by more than four the targeted public policy called Youth in Action, which financially supports young people in poverty and vulnerability. Coverage will be increased from 123,000 to 500,000 places. 

For the Pacific region (Colombia's bio-geographic region), the government proposes to reduce poverty by 19. 9 percentage points through the application of these three items, however, it is obvious that the armed conflict, drug trafficking, the usurpation of territories, the effective absence of institutions (beyond the foot of force), as well as the illegality, informality and precariousness of employment that is mainly based on the exploitation of natural resources (intensive fishing in protected maritime areas, banana monoculture for export, extensive cattle raising, gold and platinum mining, timber extraction, etc), trades that are developed in collective territories that have been stripped or illegally acquired, affecting indigenous and Afro-descendant communities or natural protected areas, which are a reflection of the social, environmental and humanitarian crisis that is already permanent in the department.

As the responsibility for implementing public policies with an ODS approach falls on the municipalities, the Chocó faces a major challenge in attacking all the problems associated with combating poverty, since these are municipalities with the lowest budgets in the country and with the most complex social, economic, cultural and political challenges in the nation.

Among the strategies proposed in the 2030 agenda in Colombia is the implementation of the peace agreement signed in 2016 between the government and the FARC. The assessments to 2019 of the state of implementation of the agreement by the Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame and the report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Colombia is far from achieving the goals it has set, which reflects the lack of political will on the part of the government to achieve them.

Lina Marcela Muñoz
Sociologist 
Specialist in public policies for equality
Director PROCLADE COLVEN

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

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