COTABATO CITY – In support to the ongoing peace interventions in the Bangsamoro Region, the European Union (EU), through its allied peacemakers, will fund EUR 10,389,839 grant for normalization projects in the Bangsamoro region.
After a successful meeting on February 9, 2022, the Project Steering Committee (PSC) of the Mindanao Peace and Development Program-Peace and Development in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MINPAD-PD BARMM) approved four project grants that will support the implementation of normalization programs in the region using the abovementioned fund.
The PSC is co-chaired by Carlito Galvez – secretary of the Office of Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU); Mohagher Iqbal – education minister of BARMM and chair of Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) Peace Implementing Panel; and Christoph Wagner – head of Cooperation of the EU Delegation to the Philippines.
According to Wagner, the programs “will primarily focus on camps transformation, socioeconomic interventions for the acknowledged camps and Marawi City, and the decommissioning process for MILF combatants.”
In an interview on Friday, Feb. 18, with Director Wendell Orbeso of OPAPRU’s Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) Implementation Department, he disclosed that “the four identified projects had undergone rigorous panel review to ensure that they addressed the needs of six MILF areas and communities that we would like to transform”.
The four programs include:
– Programme on Assistance for Camp Transformation through Inclusion, Violent Prevention, and Economic Empowerment (PROACTIVE) by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP);
– Dialogue and Engagement in Communities to Foster Peaceful Camps Transformation in the BARMM of the Center for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD);
– Access to Legal Identity and Social Services for Decommissioned Combatants (ALIAS-DC) by Initiatives for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services (IDEALS); and
– Building Community Resilience and Delivery of Essential Services for Post-Conflict Recovery in Lanao del Sur/Marawi City by the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
“As stipulated in the project documents signed by the government of the Philippines and the EU, these programs will be implemented by the project proponents in coordination with BARMM-MILF and joint normalization mechanism,” Director Orbeso explained.
As the programs are expected to roll in one or two months from now, the PSC will adopt measures to ensure that the program will be properly implemented.
“Secretary Carlito Galvez envisioned that the project will specifically address pressing issues on poverty, peace, and security. Hence, a technical review committee has been formed already to monitor the implementation of these initiatives,” Orbeso further explained.
He added that “since the transition period is extended, it is expected that the four programs under the normalization will move in parallel to the political-legislative track of the Bangsamoro Government until 2025.” (Abdullah Matucan/BIO)
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