Japan inks $3.5 million grant for Bangsamoro
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - February 26, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — A $3.5-million grant for the development of water and agriculture projects in the Bangsamoro region has been inked by the government of Japan and two international agencies.

Japanese Ambassador Haneda Koji on Monday signed the grants along with officials of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The total amount of the grant is equivalent to about P177 million.

Composed of the provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi as well as the city of Cotabato, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao has one of the highest poverty rates in the country.

The IOM project, which amounts to approximately $2.12 million, aims to support the development of the Bangsamoro power sector through the provision of solar power generation systems in Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi.

The solar power system will help health facilities reduce their daytime electricity consumpion as well as the costs they incurred by using diesel-fueled generator sets.

Established in 1951, the IOM is the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration. It works closely with government, intergovernment and non-government partners.

The UNFPA project has a total budget of approximately $1.35 million.

It aims to support transition and peace-building efforts in the newly established Bangsamoro region by assisting in the reintegration of female combatants into the community.

Community-based social and gender service providers will give psychosocial support to survivors of gender-based violence and advocate prevention of child marriage.

Both projects are expected to build healthier communities, which are milestones toward achieving peace and development in Mindanao.

The Japanese government has been funding infrastructure projects in remote areas in the region through the Japan International Cooperation Agency. – With John Unson

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