Friday, November 15, 2013

EU increases contribution to Mindanao peace process

From the Website of MILF

EU increases contribution to Mindanao peace process

  • Friday, Nov 15 2013
  • Written by  Desk Editor

The European Union (EU) and the World Bank signed on Monday, November 11, a Contribution Agreement extending an additional € 8 million (P467 million) for the development Mindanao’s conflict-affected areas.

Guy Ledoux, EU Head of Delegation to the Philippines and Motoo Konishi, World Bank Philippines Country Director signed the agreement that formalized the expansion of EU’s aid to Mindanao region. The signing ceremony was held at the headquarters of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) in Pasig City and witnessed by Secretary Teresita Q.Deles, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and Dr. Safrullah Dipatuan, Chair of the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA).

The Mindanao Examiner said in its report on November 12 that, the additional funds will be downloaded to the Mindanao Trust Fund – Reconstruction and Development Programme (MTF-RDP), a multi-donor facility that aims “to improve social and economic recovery in conflict-affected communities of Mindanao through activities which promote confidence-building, peace and demand-driven governance.”

In a statement made during the signing ceremony, EU Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs said that, “the additional funds are a concrete manifestation of the EU's long-time commitment for the Mindanao peace process both at the political level and through development assistance,” the report further said.

Piebalgs also noted that this extended assistance, when added to past contributions to the MTF brings the EU’s total contribution to the trust fund to € 12 million (P695 million), thereby making the EU the MTF’s biggest donor.

Commenting on the peace talks between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Piebalgs said, “As the Philippines economy grows rapidly and the peace talks in Mindanao progress well, the EU continues to support the Philippine Government in the pursuit of inclusive peace and sustainable development in this important region of the country.”

“We are thankful and look forward to a strengthened and sustained partnership that will make this Administration’s vision of a just and lasting peace for a progressive Mindanao a reality,” said Deles.

Deles noted that the additional funds will be used to support the Sajahatra Bangsamoro, a joint development program of the government and the MILF as well as the Bangsamoro Development Planning. She said that the additional funds will support this phase of the GPH-MILF peace process.
For his part, Konishi also expressed his gratitude to the EU for their “timely contribution” to the MTF.
He acknowledged the Aquino administration’s efforts towards sustainable peace and development in Mindanao. “The World Bank is fully behind you in this process,” he stressed.

Dipatuan thanked the EU for their increased support. He stressed on the ways in which the MTF has helped increase their capacity in delivering development programs to conflict affected communities.

He said that the MTF has helped transform the BDA into “an experienced organization that possess the capability to engage in dialogue on development needs and priorities as we position ourselves towards the transition to the Bangsamoro.”

He further said that, BDA determines, leads and manages relief, rehabilitation and development projects in the conflict-affected areas of Mindanao. He also thanked OPAPP “for its serious commitment to the peace process that will lead towards the signing of the comprehensive compact with the MILF.

MILF Website