May 25, 2015
On May 25, 2015, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a grant agreement (G/A) with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines to provide grant assistance of up to 1.117 billion yen for the Project on Community Development in Conflict Affected Areas in Mindanao, Philippines.
This project will construct access roads and bridges from farming villages to markets in three locations affected by the conflict on Mindanao, which will promote agricultural development to improve the lives and livelihoods of residents, and contribute to poverty reduction and the consolidation of peace in the target area.
Southwestern Mindanao has been affected by conflict for more than four decades. Aside from the conflict, inadequate access to basic social services and infrastructure has resulted in the area having one of the highest poverty rates in the Philippines. In March 2014, the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. The preparation towards the establishment of a new autonomous Bangsamoro Government in 2016 is currently underway. The transition process to a new autonomous government has the support of residents and local key personnel. However, better infrastructure must be provided soon to improve the lives and livelihoods of local residents in order for the consolidation of peace to occur in this conflict-affected area. Since agriculture is the main industry in the area, the lack of access roads needs to be addressed immediately. Thus, making the construction of farm-to-market roads is a priority.
This project will shorten the average time to transport agricultural products to market, increase the average transportation capacity of roads and improve resident access to public facilities, which is expected to improve the lives of local residents.
Since 2003, even before the comprehensive peace agreement was signed, JICA has been providing support through ODA in the area, including development for small-scale infrastructure, agriculture and communities. JICA will continue to provide comprehensive support toward the consolidation of peace in the region through support for human resource development, formulation and implementation of regional development plans and other initiatives based on organization and institution building for the new autonomous government.