Cycles of violent conflict in Central Mindanao have resulted in the mass displacement of people from their homes and livelihoods, trapping affected communities in long-term poverty. This problem does not end with the return of affected individuals to their place of origin according to a study by the World Bank and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP).
The study, launched by the government's Cabinet Cluster on Human Development on 26 April, was conducted from November to December 2010 and covered 2,759 adults from 231 barangays across five provinces—Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), as well as Lanao del Norte, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat.
Overall, respondents identified a variety of peace-building interventions as important. Priorities varied across identity groups, with some highlighting the need to sign a peace agreement and resolve land conflict, and others emphasizing the need for economic development. In Maguindanao, where self-determination was identified as the main root cause of violence, signing a peace agreement was proposed by almost all respondents (93%) as the best means to end conflict in Mindanao.