EUROPEAN Union Ambassador Franz Jessen has reaffirmed commitment to peace and development actions in Mindanao by creating a new “major program” with the Philippine government in 2018.
In a statement during the closing ceremony of the Mindanao Trust Fund Reconstruction and Development Program in Davao City, Jessen gave assurances the EU would be “a reliable, impartial and committed partner in the country’s pursuit of peace and development in Mindanao.”
“It remains steadfast in its resolve to continue strengthening this partnership in the future,” Jessen said.
He also said EU was now planning to step up its support to the region and was currently preparing a major new program to be signed in 2018.
“(This is intrended) to help consolidate peace and development through confidence building measures and inclusive growth,” Jessen said.
The EU recently approved a new contribution amounting to over P200 million for the next 18 months to support the peace process by monitoring the situation, to defuse tensions on the ground and to create a more inclusive political platform that would bring together Mindanao’s diverse population.
In addition, the EU is also developing a comprehensive peace and development program to push for peace and development in Mindanao.
The EU is currently the main contributor to the multi-donor trust fund providing around 80 percent of its total amount.
Over the past 11 years, the program has delivered more than 500 community sub-projects for over 650,000 people in 316 conflict-affected communities in Mindanao, to demonstrate the benefits of reaping the dividends of peace.
The Mindanao Trust Fund is a facility where various donors have agreed to contribute to the socio-economic recovery of conflict-affected communities of Mindanao.