DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 10 Oct) – Seven international agencies have pledged P408 billion for different development projects in Mindanao focusing on economic, infrastructure, social, governance, and environment, according to the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA).
MinDA public relations head Adrian Tamayo said on Wednesday that representatives of the donor agencies met with MinDA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol in a meeting last October 8 where the international agencies committed to support development initiatives for Mindanao.
The agency, established by Republic Act 9996, is tasked to “facilitate and integrate Mindanao-wide, inter-regional and region-specific programs including Official Development Assistance (ODA) projects to accelerate the socio-economic development in Mindanao.”
The agencies are Asian Development Bank (ADB), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Food Programme (WFP), European Union (EU), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit.
In a press release issued by MinDA, Piñol expressed gratitude to the international agencies for helping the island “realize and achieve our vision of a peaceful, prosperous, and poverty-free Mindanao.”
He said MinDA would be working closely with the donor agencies in undertaking capacity building activities on governance to support the newly established Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
In a briefer released by MinDA, the existing project of ADB in Mindanao aim to improve road transport network; assist in the implementation of mechanism for river basis, forestry and agro management; provide sufficient water supply; and readily offer emergency assistance for reconstruction and recovery of Marawi City.
It said UNDP’s priorities involve comprehensive recovery of areas affected by the Marawi crisis, political transition of armed groups to civilian roles, promotion of peaceful engagement and full implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro while European Union supports peace and development focusing on energy, and humanitarian aid for internally displaced people due to armed conflicts.
The WFP supports the BARMM government and local government units in Mindanao in equitably addressing the food security and nutrition needs of all segments of the population to further consolidate and enhance peace and development through school feeding, asset creation and capacity strengthening while JICA vows to strengthen the foundation for sustainable economic growth, ensuring human security for inclusive growth and peace and development in Mindanao.
Meanwhile, the initiatives undertaken by the Food and Agriculture Organization cover institutional capacity development for government counterparts with mandates related to agriculture, fisheries, environment and natural resources sectors and resilient agriculture and fisheries-based livelihood and enterprise development while Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit’s includes support for the peace building and conflict transformation in conflict-affected areas. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)