Japan continues support for peace and development in Mindanao

Published by rudy Date posted on March 24, 2009

Japanese Ambassador Makoto Katsura will sign nine grant contracts for various economic cooperation projects in Mindanao’s conflict-affected areas under the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD). This is the third batch of assistance of the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) under the J-BIRD. 

The 31 million pesos worth of funding, the third batch of assistance of the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects under the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD) program, would be spent on construction of five school buildings, a potable water supply system, an education center, a rural health unit and an irrigation system.

“This will form part of Japan’s commitment to support peace and development efforts in Mindanao,” the embassy said in its report.

The signing of the grant contracts will take place on March 30, Monday, at the Crown Plaza Hotel, in Ortigas, Pasig City. Expected to grace the event will are major stakeholders in the Mindanao peace process such as Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Avelino Razon, Philippine government Peace Panel Chairman Rafael Seguis, Dr. Danda Juanday of the Bangsamoro Development Agency and Japanese development expert Yusuke Mori, advisor for Reconstruction and Development of Mindanao who also served the International Monitoring Team before it was dissolved last year.

Since the launching of the J-BIRD in 2006, Japan has already assisted 23 projects worth around P62 million under GGP. In addition to these projects, Japan has also provided aids to around 320,000 internally displace persons in Mindanao since August 2008, when the signing of the controversial memorandum of agreement on ancestral domain was stalled.

Last January alone, the Japanese government gave an emergency food aid amounting to 860 million Yen (approximately $9.2 million) of 7,500 Metric tons of rice to the IDPs through the United Nation’s World Food Program, aside from providing sleeping mats, blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans, water containers, and plastic sheets for tents, through a GGP project since December 2008.
— Llanesca T. Panti

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