PH, EU, Germany launch multi-pronged in Mindanao

By Philippine Muslim Today News

The Philippine Government, the European Union (EU) and the German Government launched Thursday the project “Strengthening the Implementation of Regional and Local Peace and Development Agendas in Mindanao” (SPADe) under the Mindanao Peace and Development Programme (MinPAD RISE) to foster a peaceful, cohesive, secure and inclusively developed Mindanao.

The four-and-a-half-year project budgeted €18 million (Php1 billion) will further capacitate state and non-state actors implementing regional and local peace and development strides. It also seeks to improve socio-economic conditions and promote the inclusive and peace promoting development of climate sensitive agricultural value chains, the EU said in a statement emailed to the Philippine Muslim Today news.

The virtual launch was hosted by the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), keynoted by EU Ambassador Luc Véron and German Ambassador Anke Reiffenstuel and joined by government units, cooperative federations, state agencies, and civil society representatives.

Ambassador Véron highlighted: “This new project is consistent with our EU vision, which calls for an integrated approach to conflicts, supports state and societal resilience, addresses extreme poverty, inequality and chronic fragility.”

Ambassador Reiffenstuel said: “Germany remains committed to contributing to the comprehensive efforts of the peace-building process in Mindanao by providing substantial funding and experts. With the GIZ project (SPADe), the German development cooperation complements the EU funded MinPAD RISE Programme and continues Germany’s commitment for a peaceful and successful socio-economic development of Mindanao.”

SPADe will be implemented by the Department of the Interior and Local Government of the Philippines and MinDA, supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), from to 2021 to June 2025 in selected areas in all six regions of Mindanao.

Special attention will be given to vulnerable and marginalized groups such as smallholder farmers and fisher folk, indigenous peoples, internally displaced people, women, and youth, the EU said.

USEC Janet Lopoz, MinDA executive director, stressed the “importance of complementing the different initiatives to strengthen our partnerships so we get value for every peso spent and to achieve the project goals, strengthen Mindanao economy and achieve lasting peace.”

The project is supported by the European Union as part of the Mindanao Peace and Development Programme (MinPAD RISE) and co-funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. . As such, SPADe will cooperate closely with the World Bank, which is implementing the second project under MinPAD RISE targeting infrastructure development.

In close cooperation with its partners, SPADe is based on five pillars:

1) Agricultural and fishery value chain development and investment promotion

2) Capacity building and strengthening cooperatives

3) Good governance promotion

4) Support to equitable and sustainable access to natural resources

5) Empowerment of vulnerable groups.

The project aims to support the Regional Peace and Order Councils, Regional Development Councils and non-state actors in implementing the local and regional peace and development agendas and to promote inclusive and conflict-sensitive decision-making mechanisms in selected local government units.

To reach its socio-economic objectives, the project will promote climate-smart agricultural value chains and improve the services of agricultural cooperatives to their members.

To ensure the sustainability of all measures the project includes a knowledge management aspect expanding the access to approaches to peace-building and conflict-sensitive and climate-smart investments throughout Mindanao. (PR via AGM)

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