Donors want to go beyond economic aid

At a meeting of the Mindanao Working Group (MWG) held at the Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo), the donors have identified Maguindanao as the pilot for their converged intervention under a human security framework, the province being most affected by armed conflict.

Human security, for the donors, means addressing and securing the economic, food, health, environmental, personal, community, and political needs of people and communities, particularly in conflict-affected areas. They also aim to address human development dimensions, which if secured, would address ideology-based armed conflicts that mar development efforts in Mindanao.

These donor agencies include the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), European Commission (EC), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) , International Finance Corporation (IFC), Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), World Bank (WB), World Food Programme (WFP), and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The donors have agreed on how to harmonize and coordinate the flow of assistance in Mindanao, and identified roles of the national government and local government units in ensuring sustainability of programs.

"I am pleased that donors have gone out of their way here today to identify specific mechanisms to maximize resources, achieve clear targets for a certain period, and sustain peace and development efforts in Mindanao," said Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza, who chairs the MWG.