Every year, representatives from the four Executive Boards of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS, UNICEF, UN-Women and WFP undertake a joint field visit (JFV) to observe inter-agency collaboration, project implementation, achievements and challenges in a specific context. The planning of the JFV rotates among the Executive Board secretariats, and this year, it was WFP’s turn to coordinate the 2019 JFV which led 22 delegates to Colombia. The visit was historic in that it was the first time on record that all four Board Presidents were participating together.
Despite much economic progress, Colombia is dealing with several issues: mixed migration flows, new violence after a historic peace agreement in 2016 resulting in internal displacement, and varying levels of inequality across the country, among others. The delegation thus met with the UN country team (UNCT), government and civil society organizations to hear their perspectives and impressions of the current situation.
As part of two groups, the representatives visited the departments of Nariño and Meta to learn more about the issues and the UN activities there. These included humanitarian services at the border between Colombia and Ecuador, a joint local diocese–WFP project serving hot meals to migrants, reintegration and training spaces for ex-combatants, a binational peacebuilding project, reforestation work and coordination mechanisms between the UN agencies and local governments.
The delegation discussed their observations during debriefings with relevant stakeholders on the last day of their visit. At their upcoming Board sessions, the WFP Board delegates will provide an oral report about their experience and findings. You can listen in through the live webcast of the annual session of the WFP Executive Board in June 2019. The WFP Executive Board Secretariat thanks the Government of Colombia, the WFP Colombia Office and the entire UNCT for making this a successful and impactful visit.
By Sarah Colbourne, Executive Board Officer, Rome