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WB backs Mindanao peace process by granting add'l P129-M assistance

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The World Bank (WB) has reiterated its full support to the government’s peace initiative in southern Philippines as it announced an additional assistance of US$ 3 million (P129 million) under the 4th Program Partnership Agreement (PPA4) to hasten development in conflict-affected areas in the region.

The amount is over and above the US$ 450 million (P18.35 billion) the WB had provided for Mindanao the past five years, according to Motoo Konishi, WB country director for the Philippines.

“Over the last five years alone, the World Bank has provided over $ 450 million in assistance to Mindanao to support better infrastructure, improved agriculture, better education and health, and, quite prominently, over the last few years, stronger social protection through the Pantawid Pamilya program (of the Department of Social Welfare and Development),” Konishi said, adding that “there are now 1.3 million beneficiaries of the Pantawid program in Mindanao alone.”

Konishi also said that the WB places high priority on the development of Mindanao to resolve peacefully the long-drawn conflict in the area.
The WB official said US$ 3 million will be used for the construction of health clinics, schools, farm-to-market roads, water supply systems and agricultural assistance for 65 barangays in 21 conflict-affected municipalities.

Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles confirmed Tuesday the WB’s financial assistance for various projects in Mindanao.
Deles said three civil society organizations (CSOs) recently signed a partnership agreement to step up peace and development efforts in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.

She said the signing by the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA), Community and Family Services International (CFSI), and Mindanao Land Foundation (MinLand) demonstrated their commitment through the PPA4, which is part of the continuing initiatives of the World Bank-led Mindanao Trust Fund-Reconstruction and Development Program (MTF-RDP) to deliver services to poor families in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao while capacitating the BDA to perform its role as the development arm of the MILF.

Deles said the agreement will “enable BDA to strengthen its capability to address the challenges of managing community projects.”
“It will provide BDA with the appropriate timeframe for more sustained engagement with, and, in turn, more positive impact in communities which have been affected by violent conflict,” Deles added.

“The challenges confronting Mindanao can only be solved through a collective effort among all stakeholders,” she said.
Deles said the government welcomes all initiatives that allow development to be brought to communities that need them the most.
“We commend efforts that allow a stronger partnership between government and communities, between civil society and local government units… We will continue to support all initiatives that help empower communities and institutions to rebuild what has been destroyed by violent conflict,” she said.

Deles commended the World Bank, CSFI, MinLand and all the partners of the MTF,” adding that “none of these would have been possible without the continuing strong support from local and international development partner organizations.”

She urged them to “continue to walk with us as we as a people continue to resolutely move towards a future that will bring the kind of peace and development our peoples justly deserve.”

by: PNA




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