More donors upbeat on Mindanao — Antonino

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/21 Oct) — Foreign donors upbeat under the new administration of President Aquino want to pour in more aid for the rebuilding efforts in Mindanao, Mindanao Development Authority (Minda) Chair Luwalhati Antonino said.

Antonino, who talked to a gathering of reporters and editors Wednesday night, said that compared to the previous administration, foreign donors are more upbeat under the new administration, promising more aids to support Mindanao’s rebuilding efforts.

Among the donor agencies focusing the bulk of their assistance in Mindanao are the Australian government’s AusAid programme, the United States Assistance for International Development (USAID) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which for years have been focusing on the peace and development efforts in Mindanao.

“I have talked to the donors. They’re willing to help,” Antonino said. “The US is offering lines and AusAid is already pouring in 70 percent of its country assistance to Mindanao.”

She said that most of these donor agencies are focusing their assistance in conflict affected areas. Antonino also said that more assistance are coming for people displaced by the renewed fighting between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) following the breakdown of talks in August 2008.

International humanitarian groups earlier pointed out that thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs or “bakwits”) are facing “serious hunger” and food “insecurity” after they were displaced from their homes. (Germelina Lacorte / MindaNews)