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Ground Truth Briefing | The Coronavirus Response in Colombia: Views from Leading Practitioners

Date & Time

Apr. 16, 2020
1:00pm – 2:00pm ET


By Phone Only


Colombia, Latin America’s fourth largest economy, has seen more than 2,776 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 109 deaths as of April 13. Those are not the highest numbers in the region; but Colombia is also home to the largest number of Venezuelan refugees anywhere in the world—over 1.8 million by the end of February 2020, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. While some Venezuelans have opted to return to Venezuela in the face of the pandemic, the potential for a coronavirus outbreak among refugees in informal settlements and precarious living conditions remains deeply concerning. 

President Iván Duque imposed a quarantine on March 25th and has extended it, for now, until the end of April. The government has asked the IMF for an $11 billion line of credit to face the pandemic and is implementing a range of fiscal and monetary policies to soften the virus’s economic impact. With over half the labor force in the informal sector, the government is also devising programs to expand access to health care, food subsidies, and other assistance for vulnerable citizens. 

In this Ground Truth Briefing, two of Colombia’s leading public servants in charge of responding to and containing the pandemic in Colombia discuss the challenges they face.


Hosted By

Latin America Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin America Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan policy forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more

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