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Mercy Corps in the 2017 World Economic Forum

Articles and Opinion 23/01/2017
Portada noticia

Neal Keny-Guyer, director general of Mercy Corps, was representing to the society civil in the Forum economic global-investing in the peace. Juan Manuel Santos, President of Colombia, was one of the main panelists. The meeting took place in Davos, Switzerland, January 18, 2017 and also featured the participation of various world leaders and representatives of the private and financial sectors.

"What I was impressed by is how the conflict had been the parking brake for the development of Colombia and how peace can be the engine of development", Keny-Guyer opened with these words.

Santos, referring is to the premise, said that in this time need of it investment private to support the process of peace and to invest in them areas in which not there was presence of the State. The work of the investor private will be contact is with them farmers to bring their products to the market and connect them with technology. "It will be a win win. "To the State you is very difficult to make it only and quickly", said the President.

Another of the advantages of the territory Colombian is the fertility of their soils. According to FAO that wealth puts us at 8 of the countries that have the capacity to become a source of food for the world and improve food production globally, for which private investment is key.

Keny-Guyer stressed that "Colombia is leader in making investments with social impact". Due to the conflict, the country has achieved progress in this field taking advantage to other countries.

Santos replied that in fact there are many projects underway and that he is thinking in many more, especially concentrated in rural areas and the most vulnerable sections of society. Likewise, said that Colombia is using a new methodology to measure the poverty with an approach multidimensional: "not is only talk of money but of satisfy all the needs human". Pointing you to the development human is has attained reduce the poverty of the country in a 12.5% in the last years, much more than what others countries have attained.

After affirm that in Colombia there are many more entrepreneurs social that in others countries, Keny-Guyer you asked to Santos "would what is the role that they play in the process of peace?", to what the President responded: "them have a mind social, are a bridge with them communities, modernized the country as soon as the access to the technology and have found experiences fabulous".

"If have attained strengthen entrepreneurs social in times of war, how will be in times of peace!", said Neal Keny-Guyer, moderator of the meeting.

The President Santos emphasized that the way must be found of working together to achieve more and better results because, in general, countries in conflict have as an engine of war illicit drug trafficking and the illegal mining resources. "We have issues of illegality which affect us all, there is a need for better coordination between the Government and private organizations."

Peter Brabeck-Letmathe, Chairman of Nestle and representative of the private sector, with an example of the work that your company does in Colombia, explained how the private sector can positively impact society. "We are working in an area that was the guerrilla, we want to change their crops of coca for coffee crops, they have the advantage of having the coffee of best quality in the world. Why create Aurora de la Paz, a brand of coffee that will be distributed internationally, so let's help 35 thousand peasants and small farmers. It will be good for my company and I hope that the beneficiaries for also."

Ending the meeting President Santos stressed that "we need foreign investment to generate jobs and achieve that people lose the fear and mistrust that have demobilized FARC front. "It sector private can help to generate confidence showing results tangible". The main aid that need Colombia in this time to accelerate the process of peace are: the investment in Colombia and more access to lines of credit.

"We must join forces, we are all going in the same direction. "The conflict is the main engine of the poverty extreme". concluded the director of Mercy Corps.

If you want to see the encounter on video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZcmM_yIuy8U