Colombia will receive $450 million fund from the United States
President Barack Obama announced that he will propose a plan to the congress to help Colombia to achieve peace with the FARC rebel group. He told reporters immediately after the meeting with the Colombian president that he will ask the congress to release $450 million worth of fund to help the country.
The announcement made is one of the assurances given by Obama to his counterpart, Juan Manuel Santos. According to Reuters, Obama told the press that "After half a century of wrenching conflict, the time has come for peace," he also added that the United States "will be your partner in waging peace."
The fund given is expected to be utilized by Colombian for its counterterrorism, drugs trafficking prevention and also for education purposes. According to the plan, the education given aim at providing the ex-FARC rebel group with a proper education to help them work and interact better with the society.
Besides funding, Obama also told that the current 'Plan Colombia' policy adopted by the United States towards Colombia will be replaced with a new policy known as 'Peace Colombia' as reported by Yahoo News. The current 'Plan Colombia' policy has been adopted by the United States since the end of the cold war.
The latest move is part of Obama's plan to help improves the United States policy towards countries in Latin America before he steps down from the office. The Inquirer reported current policy known as 'Plan Colombia' had started since the end of cold war and has been criticized by many Colombian because the plan is actually causing more damage than advantage.
Besides funding for the peace talks, the United States will also commit another $33 million for Colombia to help the government clean up its forest from land mines. Based on the data collected by Reuters, the new plan committed by the United States means that the country is increasing its funding by 25 percent compared to the previous one.
Obama is expected to table the new plan by next week to be discussed and voted by the congress members.
The war between the FARC rebel and Colombian government have been going on since 1964 and has killed more than 220,000 people. The parties had held three peace talks previously but none of them produce a good result.
However, after 4 years of intense negotiation, both parties are on the verge of reaching a solid agreement. The announcement regarding the peace talks is expected to be announced on March 23rd this year.