President Kim says people must look forward to 'feeling the benefits of peace'
MANILA, JULY 15, 2014 – The World Bank Group is expanding its support for the Mindanao peace process with new funding to build infrastructure and boost residents’ incomes as part of its growing program to help the Philippines achieve inclusive growth and reduce poverty.
World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim announced the US$119 million funding today. The funding, which is part of a proposed new Philippine Rural Development Project, will support farm-to-market roads, bridges, communal irrigation systems, and potable water, including in the conflict affected areas of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
“The peace process is very important for attaining peace and development in Mindanao, including the ARMM where the conflict-affected areas are among the poorest regions in the country—with a poverty rate over 50 percent, more than twice the national average,” said Kim. “Our support for the peace process is in line with our goals of ending extreme poverty and building shared prosperity.”
The proposed Philippines Rural Development Project was announced yesterday by Kim in Leyte. It provides a total of $508 million to raise rural incomes and boost the productivity of farmers and fishermen in targeted areas across the nation. The project will be presented to the World Bank Group’s Board of Executive Directors next month.
Investments to generate at least 6,000 jobs in Mindanao, including the ARMM are also being proposed by IFC, the Bank’s private sector arm.
“Together with the IFC, the World Bank is scaling up support for rural development and job creation in the region, with the Bank providing financial assistance to critical public infrastructure and the IFC promoting private investment in agribusiness,” said Kim. “This project has the potential to be truly transformational for Mindanao and critical to poverty reduction in the Philippines.”
Kim met Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III this morning at Malacañang Palace, where they discussed an additional $US 6.6 million in World Bank funding for the Mindanao Trust Fund. That funding will help support livelihoods for over 100,000 people and will support the creation of a development plan for the conflict affected areas.
President Kim also participated in a “Daylight Dialogue” good governance conference at Malacañang Palace, where he commended the government’s efforts to promote greater accountability and transparency.
“Good governance means delivering public services effectively and efficiently, while being transparent about what you spend and the results you achieve,” Kim said. “Good governance involves choosing wise policies and investments; maintaining public assets; and ensuring that civil servants are skilled, motivated, and have the tools to work effectively. It is about fostering a transparent regulatory environment that will allow the private sector to create growth and jobs.”
Supporting good governance is an important component of the World Bank Group’s new Philippine’s Country Partnership Strategy, which supports the country’s goal of promoting sustainable growth, reducing poverty and creating jobs. Under this new four year strategy, the World Bank Group plans to provide US$3.2 billion in financing for development to the government and another $1 billion for investments in business and industry from IFC, its private sector arm.