DAVAO CITY, November 28, 2014—The World Bank Group (WBG) is scaling up assistance for rural development and job creation in Mindanao under its new Country Partnership Strategy (CPS) in support of the peace process in the southern part of the country.
The WBG is supporting two new government projects this year that have allocated about P14 billion pesos to boost community-driven development projects, build rural infrastructure, and expand livelihood opportunities for farmers and fisher folk in Mindanao.
· The National Community-Driven Development Project (NCDDP) is designed to empower poor communities to participate in local planning, budgeting and implementation of community-level projects that help reduce poverty. The project has allocated P8.74 billion for Mindanao. Poor communities organize themselves, prepare project proposals to address their common problems, and compete for block grants to finance their own projects. Typical investments may include local infrastructure such as water systems, school buildings, day care centers and health stations, as well as roads and bridges.
· The Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP) supports rural infrastructure as well as small business and livelihood projects for farmers and fisher folk. To date, local government units in Mindanao and the Department of Agriculture have prepared several projects, mostly farm-to-market roads worth P5.3 billion, of which P501 million will be for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
“The World Bank Group is scaling up support for rural development and job creation in the region by providing critical infrastructure and promoting private investment in agri-business,” said World Bank Operations Officer Lilanie Magdamo, in a multi-stakeholder dialogue co-organized with the University of Southeastern Philippines for the presentation of the new partnership strategy for the country in Davao City.
“We are encouraged by the recent completion of the Bangsamoro Development Plan and the efforts of the government, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and other sectors of society to promote stability and lay the foundations for lasting peace and development in Mindanao, including the Bangsamoro. Together with other development partners, we are committed to contribute to these efforts,” said International Finance Corporation (IFC) Resident Representative Jesse Ang during the CPS dialogue.
Mr. Ang said that the IFC—a member of the WBG which focuses on the private sector—and its private sector partners are currently discussing investments that will generate at least 6,000 jobs in Mindanao, including the Bangsamoro. World Bank-assisted public programs will complement these efforts by providing critical support for the construction and rehabilitation of farm-to-market roads, bridges, irrigation facilities and water supply. It will also provide technical assistance to local communities to expand livelihood opportunities and small business enterprises.
According to Mr. Ang, international experience suggests that breaking the cycle of violence requires legitimate institutions – with technical capacity and accountability – that can deliver security, justice and jobs. The WBG will continue to provide assistance to the long-term process of building legitimate institutions in Mindanao and the Bangsamoro through technical capacity building and training, as well as transparency initiatives especially in service delivery, he said.
The Country Partnership Strategy is considered the WBG’s business plan that supports the Philippines’ development strategy. It has identified key areas where the Bank Group can promote development and help reduce poverty:
· Transparent and accountable governance: strengthening public financial management, improving fiscal transparency and financial accountability, and supporting greater demand from citizens for government accountability.
· Empowerment of the poor and vulnerable: improving health and education outcomes, strengthening social protection and ensuring the availability of more timely and improved measurements of poverty.
· Rapid, inclusive and sustained economic growth: promoting economic policy reform for inclusive growth, boosting private sector development by improving the investment climate for firms of all sizes, including greater access to finance, and increasing productivity and job creation, especially in rural areas.
· Climate change, environment, and disaster risk management: increasing physical, financial and institutional resilience to natural disasters and climate change impacts, and improving natural resource management and sustainable development; and
· Peace, institution building, and social and economic opportunity: supporting social and economic development in conflict-affected regions in Mindanao, including the Bangsamoro.
About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group plays a key role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. It consists of five institutions: the World Bank, including the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA); the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Working together in more than 100 countries, these institutions provide financing, advice, and other solutions that enable countries to address the most urgent challenges of development.