Displaced Persons

Generating Employment and Income for Disadvantaged People

Employment generation is one of PADF’s main priorities so as to enable self-reliance among different communities, including displaced populations and other vulnerable groups who have been affected by civil conflict, human crisis, disasters or other situations. Using a variety of approaches, our programs help support micro and medium-size businesses, provide skills training, improve agricultural conditions and techniques, expand and improve local infrastructure and focus on natural resources conservation. We work to ensure that our programs create the essential conditions for sustainable economic growth.


In countries like Colombia where millions of people remain displaced as a result of the country’s decades old civil conflict, PADF has collaborated with the national government to help tens of thousands of internally displaced persons build their own small businesses and create jobs. Through such initiatives PADF has also provided technical assistance, business training, in-kind and cash assistance and social counseling and connect participants with local business associations and banking institutions to obtain seed capital.

Developing Micro, Small, Medium and Community Enterprises

For decades, PADF has supported local businesses with the goal of creating jobs and giving people access to additional income and increased wealth. This is why PADF supports entrepreneurs and the creation of micro, small and community enterprises as a way to improve the capacity of specific communities, particularly the most vulnerable, such as displaced and disadvantaged people. Our programs provide capacity building, training and technical assistance, helping communities implement alternative development and creating new income streams that contribute to their overall development.


Empowering Civil Society and Communities 

In the last 50 years, PADF has strengthened the capacity of more than 2,000 civil society groups. And that work continues today. Throughout the hemisphere, PADF is actively strengthening local non-governmental organizations and municipalities by working side by side to better support displaced persons, combat human rights abuses, prevent human trafficking, and address other critical issues. This approach has developed much needed leadership and improved local capacity to tackle community challenges. PADF also trains local leaders in critical areas such as planning, management, fundraising and citizen participation, and provides technical assistance and other resources. This helps communities tackle local problems with efficiency, effectiveness and transparency, enabling grassroots democracy to grow.

In Colombia, the country with the highest number of internally displaced persons with a total of between 4.9 and 5.5 million people, PADF has worked to strengthen local organizations that assist displaced persons in order to improve organizational capacity of women-led victims’ organizations and trained local pro-victim organizations to advocate and represent their constituents.


Promoting Human Rights, including Displaced Persons and Other Vulnerable Groups

PADF has a long history of strong support of human rights. For decades, the Foundation has carried out programs to support internally displaced persons and victims of violence, combat human rights abuses, and provide opportunities for greater equality to other vulnerable groups. As a result of our work to strengthen government entities and local NGOs, PADF has greatly impacted violence reduction and monitoring, social rights, access to justice, and the rights of excluded groups. 

Aiding Victims of Natural Disasters and Humanitarian Crises

For decades, PADF has responded to most of the hemisphere’s major natural disasters and humanitarian crises. In its role as the OAS developmental and relief arm, PADF is also called upon at times to respond to other humanitarian crises such as assisting displaced persons in Colombia, demobilized ex-combatants in Central America, refugees fleeing civil unrest, and other vulnerable or excluded minorities in the Americas.