ORU Fogar supports Colombia in “Voices from the Pacific 2020” 

Last July 9, a webinar entitled “Economic Strategies for the Economy Recovery of the Pacific region” led to the creation of a series of webinars “Voices from the Pacific 2020” organized by the Pacific Administrative and Planning Region of Colombia, which will last until December. RAP Pacific is a supra-departmental region, created in 2016, which now, with “Voices from Pacific 2020” has sought to generate a scenario for discussion and proposal regarding the problems of the region, with the participation of national personalities, but also of members of ORU Fogar of diverse origins.

Historically, the Pacific region has always been one the poorest regions of Colombia, with poverty rates that can go from 32% to 45%, with Valle del Cauca with the most serious situation. Thus, all the indicators mark a delay with respect to the indicators for the rest of the country, with significant gaps in terms of access to education, health, quality employment, competitiveness, or innovation.

The situation has only worsened with the arrival of the coronavirus, with a rate – in June – of 197 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. On March 24, 2020, Colombia entered a state of mandatory preventive isolation and, with this, the national economy is quarantined. As a result, Colombia went from having an unemployment rate of around 21.4% in May.

In that context, the seminar raises the following question: How to think of an economic reactivation for the short, medium and long term, which, while respecting the lifestyles of the territory, establishes the necessary conditions for regional development in the Colombian Pacific? Various members of ORU Fogar, from the experience of their respective regions, will help to try to answer these questions.

Sergio Humberto Graf, vice-president of Regions4 for America and Secretary for the Environment and Territorial Development of Jalisco, Mexico, will participate to the session on September 3. On October 8, Doctor Ricard Tresserras from the General Directorate of Health Planning of Catalonia will talk about how COVID-19 is being fought in the session "Challenges of the health sector in the Colombian Pacific". Leyre Madariaga, director of External Relations of the Basque government and responsible for the development of the 2030 Agenda of the Basque Country is scheduled to participate in the conference on November 5 entitled "Development Nodes: an Innovation Strategy for the Pacific". Prefect of the Province of Cotopaxi, Ecuador, Jorge Guamán, will participate in the debate in which the cultural and identity issue is addressed, on December 3, with the title "Cultural Identity in the Colombian Pacific, an Infinite Wealth".

This series of webinars takes place at a time when RAP Pacific is working on the foundations of a Strategic Plan for the region that will cover from 2020 to 2040. This plan should address the institutional articulation of the region, as well as an economic strategy in which the agro-chains and the commercial channels are fortified and the tourist offer is reinforced.

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