More international donors to join anti-poverty program
by Prix D Banzon
Davao City (24 May) -- As the Mindanao Rural Development Program (MRDP) enters its second phase with $123 million funding for another five-year period, more international donors are eyeing to join the anti-poverty program.
MRDP was formally launched on Wednesday ( May 23) and was led by Department of Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap in a ceremony held at the Marco Polo Hotel in Davao City which was attended by governors, mayors and other local government officials of the island.
World Bank representative Carolina V. Figueroa Geron, senior operations officer and country sector coordinator of Rural Development, National Resources and Environment Sector said WB already signed a loan agreement with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines for some $84 million.
Aside from the funds sourced out from WB, the MRDP will get a grant of $7 million from Global Environment Fund (GEF) however, the money will come on the second year of the implementation of MRDP2 she said.
She said the Australian government is interested and studying the program and that more international funding donors are likewise interested to participate even as she said that there could be a possibility of more funds to come in the coming years.
The program, she said will also have a counterpart fund from the government and the remaining $43 million will be borned out by the local government units.
There will be 225 municipalities covered by MRDP 2 to include areas in the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao.
"The project is open to all towns of Mindanao so long as it meet the criteria," she said.
The Adaptable Program Loan (APL) of the MRDP 2 continues to implement poverty-reducing interventions in more poor communities across Mindanao.
MRDP 1 provided significant learning experiences and the phase 2 of the program seeks to continue improving incomes and achieving food security by designing and implementing better-targeted agricultural and fisheries-related rural development and biological diversity conservation projects.
Geron said 70 percent of the fund will go to infrastructure as these infra projects are support facilities that will aid in improving production that would lead to increasing the income of people in focused communities.
She said after five years of implementing MRDP 2 they would expect a 10 percent increase in the income of people in areas covered by the program.
She also said that fund release by tranch will be done directly to the lgu although she said that fund allocation will depend on the program that they (lgu) have proposed.
The MRDP2 program components focus on investment for governance reforms and program administration, rural infrastructure, community fund for agricultural development (CFAD), and natural resources management (NRM).
Geron said that monitoring is critical and the lgu had set up transparency mechanism to ensure that resources trickled down to the targeted beneficiaries.
She also said that WB conducts monitoring of the projects every six months. (PIA XI) [top]