The European Union on Monday provided a grant of 312 million pesos (7.53 million U.S. dollars) to fund a project aimed at assisting 50,000 families displaced by decades-old conflict in southern Philippines.
EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux said the support will directly address poverty alleviation for the poorest in Mindanao, especially during the crucial transition phase following the signing of the Framework Agreement on Oct. 15.
"As a major development partner in poverty alleviation in Mindanao since 1990, this grant is a strong re-affirmation of the European Union's support to the development of Mindanao," he said.
The EU and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) signed an agreement for the fund assistance in a ceremony witnessed by Philippine government officials and an official of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
The EU grant will finance a two-year project which calls for providing livelihood to 50,000 families in central Mindanao.
Small-scale granaries as well as food- and cash-for-work activities will be implemented by agricultural cooperatives, farmers, and fishermen, and provide them with production, post- harvest, and value-chain support.
WFP will lead the program implementation in close collaboration with the Departments of Social Welfare and Development, Agriculture, Agrarian Reform, and Environment and Natural Resources.
The EU grant is on top of the 462 million pesos (11.16 million U.S. dollars) to support the peace process in Mindanao announced by Ledoux in July.