Mindanao peace fund gets P40M boost from Canada

DAVAO CITY (MindaNew/24 Apr) – The Canadian government announced it is
adding P40 million to the Mindanao Trust Fund raised by the World Bank
for reconstruction and development projects in the island-region’s
conflict affected areas.

This brings the Canadian contribution to the MTF at P70 million. The
fund is being made available for development work while the peace
process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front
(MILF) is still on-going, according to a press statement from the
Canadian Embassy.

Last year, Canada poured in P30 million to the fund.

Romeo Montenegro, information chief of the Mindanao Economic
Development Council (MEDCo), told MindaNews 60 percent of Canada’s
program targets in the country this year are in Mindanao. (Photo courtesy of MindaNews)The MTF was established in 2005 by the World Bank amid calls from the
Philippine government for aid to Mindanao in case the agreement is
signed.

The European Union announced in November it will release 1 million
euros for its initial contribution to the MTF this year even before
the peace pact is signed.

Apart from the EU’s contribution, around US$2.74 million has been
earmarked for the initial phase with US$369,850 from Australia, US$
643,005 from Canada, US$199,978 from New Zealand and US$1.5 million
from the World Bank.

Peace Process Presidential Adviser Jesus Dureza said last year they
will make initial preparations by providing capacity building to the
Bangsamoro Development Agency, the office eyed to lead the
implementation of the MTF projects.

A full program will be implemented in the final phase once the peace
agreement is signed. Grants will be released to finance projects like
technical assistance, expansion of capacity-building, and a gradual
transfer of management to a governing entity.

Talks between the government and the MILF have been stalled since September.

Dureza and Canadian Ambassador Peter Sutherland will officiate the
signing of the administrative agreement of the trust fund on April 26
at The Marco Polo. (Walter I. Balane / MindaNews)

About mindanaw

A Journalist from Mindanao

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