Japan gives food security assets to Bangsamoro

Japan has been contributing to the peace process in Mindanao for more than two decades through the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development. To date, more than 100 projects worth $515 million have been undertaken under the J-BIRD.

The latest project was the handover of community assets for enhancing food security and livelihood to the Bangsamoro people.

On 21 February, the handover ceremony was held in Isulan, Sultan Kudarat and Datu Mantil, Pigcawayan, Cotabato. The ceremony was attended by Deputy Chief of Mission Matsuda Kenichi, Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao Minister for Agriculture, Fishery and Agrarian Reform Mohammad S. Yacob, BARMM Minister for Public Works Eduard Guerra, BARMM Minister for Science and Technology Aida Silongan, Governor Datu Pax Ali S. Mangudadatu of Sultan Kudarat Province, Joint Normalization Committee Co-Chairs Akmad Brahmin and Ariel Hernandez, and United Nations Development Program Philippines Deputy Representative Edwine Carrie.

The $2.3 million worth of assets aim to address the recent supply crisis and price inflation in the region by helping ensure food security for sustaining the peacebuilding and recovery in the BARMM. Approximately 9,000 residents in six communities received food packs while 24,000 residents in 16 communities in and around BARMM were set to benefit from livelihood development support related to the agriculture and fisheries sectors.

“As the 10th anniversary of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro approaches, and the 2025 Bangsamoro Parliament election is in the horizon, we sincerely hope that this project will succeed and serve as an inspiration to the other communities in BARMM for greater economic stability and to further accelerate the Peace Process in the region,” Matsuda said in a speech during the ceremony.

Japan, through J-BIRD, is committed to helping BARMM address its current challenges as a result of decades of armed conflict fueled by issues such as historical land disputes, cultural and religious differences and political grievances.