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Puerto Aguadulce wins OAS award for lifting Colombians out of poverty

THE Organisation of American States (OAS) has honoured the Puerto Aguadulce-COMPAS Foundation by presenting it with the 2018 Maritime Award of the Americas in Social Responsibility for Sociedad Puerto Industrial de Aguadulce's (SPIA) landmark initiative to help alleviate poverty in Colombia

06 August 2019 - 19:00

THE Organisation of American States (OAS) has honoured the Puerto Aguadulce-COMPAS Foundation by presenting it with the 2018 Maritime Award of the Americas in Social Responsibility for Sociedad Puerto Industrial de Aguadulce's (SPIA) landmark initiative to help alleviate poverty in Colombia.

The foundation is the social responsibility arm of SPIA, a joint venture between International Container Terminal Services Inc (ICTSI) and Singapore's PSA International at the port of Buenaventura in Colombia.



SPIA beat other maritime gateways across the 35-nation OAS in North, Central and South America, obtaining high scores for exhibiting best practices in social responsibility that produced measurable results.



The OAS Inter-American Committee on Ports cited SPIA's leadership and commitment to sustainable development through its Emprendepaz programme, which supports local entrepreneurs and start-ups within the port's hinterland communities in the Aguadulce peninsula including three community committees (CCCN, in Spanish): Bajo Calima, Citronela and Cordoba-San Cipriano.



Colombian President Ivzn Duque Marquez, who lauded SPIA's contributions to Colombia, said that the 2018 Maritime Award of the Americas 'speaks of serious work - a commitment of the port not only to fulfil its commercial objectives, but to bring well-being to the entire community that surrounds them.'



Through the technical assistance of the foundation, 385 families were integrated into the formal economy, creating 254 new jobs and 17 local start-ups during its implementation between November 2017 and April 2019.



Of the 17 businesses that were created and/or strengthened through the programme, five of them ventured into the service sector, five in agriculture, two in gastronomy, two in arts (music and dance), two in traditional craftsmanship, and one in retail. In addition, the programme planted 132 additional acres of Chinese potatoes, banana and cocoa, a 60 per cent increase prior to implementation.



'Since the beginning, we have worked hand in hand with the neighbouring communities, understanding their specific necessities and letting them define their own priorities. This way, we have been able to contribute to the achievement of their goals and created opportunities for their sustainable development and growth,' said SPIA general manager Miguel Arturo Abisambra.


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