UN, ARMM ink Maguindanao ‘livelihood restoration’ deal PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 10 July 2015 12:02

The United Nations and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao on Wednesday crafted a $470,000 livelihood restoration cooperation program for conflict and calamity-stricken towns in Maguindanao province.

ARMM Gov. Mujiv Hataman said the coming in of the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (UNFAO) to help rebuild areas wracked by armed conflicts, drought and recent floods is an overwhelming vote of confidence for the regional government.

Makmod Mending, Jr., who is ARMM’s agriculture and fisheries secretary, and UNFAO’s most senior representative to the Philippines, Jose Luis Fernandez, signed the agreement Wednesday afternoon at the Bajau Hall of Hataman’s office in Cotabato City.

The symbolic event was witnessed by key regional officials led by Laisa Alamia, who is ARMM’s executive secretary, and representatives of different media outfits in Central Mindanao.

The $470,000 worth livelihood package from UNFAO, about 20 million in Philippine currency, is earmarked for corn, rice and vegetable seeds, fertilizers and farm tools for distribution to peasant groups in Maguindanao.

Also to benefit from the agricultural package are farmers in Pikit municipality in North Cotabato.

Fernandez said the project, to start within month, will last until May 2016.

Mending said the support of UNFAO will help expedite the recovery of peasant communities affected by recent armed conflicts in Maguindanao and the drought that scorched their rice and corn farms.

“This will replace the productive assets lost or damaged during the crisis,” Fernandez said.

More than a dozen towns in Maguindanao were ravaged by flashfloods last week, spawned by heavy rains in surrounding hinterlands.