Donors to boost aid, support relief, rehab work in Mindanao
Manila (23 October) -- In recognizing the need to preserve the gains achieved for peace and development in Mindanao, representatives from donor agencies converged here recently at the Manila Pavilion Hotel and agreed to support the government's relief and rehabilitation efforts, as well as strengthen their coordination work for peace and development in the island.
In the 7th Mindanao Working Group (MWG) Meeting chaired by the Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo) and the World Bank, the donor representatives, who met with their government counterparts, recognized the government's leadership in undertaking relief and rehabilitation work, and expressed support to such efforts.
At the same time, the donor group pointed out that they have to strengthen their coordination mechanisms among themselves for peace and development in the island.
Such coordination may take place through joint needs assessment, programming, as well as monitoring and evaluation, among others.
These two agreements were among the consensus points reached in the said 7th MWG Meeting, wherein members acknowledged that over the years, significant gains, such as economic development in Mindanao, as well as peace initiatives that strengthen peace networks and promote community social cohesion, have to be upheld in spite of the challenges that Mindanao is facing.
The MWG also agreed that there is a need to implement a coherent response, while at the same time, employ development interventions that are based on the context of the involved communities. Specifically, these interventions include existing programmes, which will be strengthened and scaled up, in support of the long-term objectives for peace and development in Mindanao.
Moreover, the MWG agreed to support community-based economic development programmes for job generation, and ensure meaningful participation of the private sector in its implementation. Furthermore, the MWG agreed to encourage the early implementation of broad-based peace dialogues in the communities as a critical aspect of the new approach to the peace process of the government.
Support local government efforts to promote social cohesion through inter-sectoral and interfaith dialogue. Lastly, the group agreed to restore public safety and order in the affected communities guided by the rule of law as the overarching principle.
Present during the meeting were donor agencies such as the: AECI-Spanish International Cooperation Agency, Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), The Asia Foundation, Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Delegation of the European Commission in the Philippines, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), German Development Service (DED), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Labour Organization (ILO), International Organization for Migration, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), New Zealand Agency for International Aid, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations- World Food Programme (WFP), and the World Bank.
Also present were representatives from the embassies of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Royal Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Republic of Austria.
On the government side, the meeting was attended by representatives from the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), the National Commission on the Indigenous Peoples, and the Regional Development Councils (RDC) in Mindanao.
Also present in the meeting were representatives from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the Bangsamoro Development Authority (BDA), the Community and Family Services International (CFSI), the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Local Government Units (LGU) of Lanao del Norte and Sarangani, as well as the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA). (MEDCo) [top]