Sunday, March 7, 2010

UN agencies launch $2.5M program for farmers in conflict areas in Quezon - Catanauan on Bondoc Peninsula, will benefit from improved maternity and child care programs of their respective local governments


In a bid to help farmers, fishermen and workers in conflict-affected areas in Quezon province, two United Nations agencies have launched a $2.5-million program to nurture peace, security and decent work.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s program have partnered with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process for the project, according to a release posted on the ILO website.

“People cannot get themselves out of poverty without decent work. It is even harder for people living in conflict-affected areas with limited access to livelihood, health care, education and other economic resources," said Linda Wirth, Director of the ILO Subregional Office in Manila.

Funded by the Japanese government through the UN Trust Fund for Human Security, the program aims to address extreme poverty and inequality as the root causes of social unrest and armed conflict in Bondoc Peninsula in Quezon province.

It also looks at promoting decent work for the disadvantaged through local economic development, to complement the national government’s peace-building and agrarian reform efforts.

“Breaking this vicious cycle [of poverty in conflict-affected areas] by bringing stakeholders to work together for local development is crucial to reduce the number of working poor, cope better with climate change and address the root causes of conflict," Wirth added.

The project will be implemented over a three-year period starting March 2010.

At least 80 percent of the population in the region depends on farming and fishing activities earning not more than $1 (P46) per day, the UN noted.

“Quezon province is essentially an agricultural economy. Restoring, rehabilitating and further improving farming and fishing activities in the affected communities are prerequisites for a lasting peace and long term economic development in the province," said Kazuyuki Tsurumi, FAO Representative in the Philippines.

Fishers, farmers and workers in the informal economy are priority groups among the disadvantaged populations identified.

Through the project, women and men, including young people, will benefit from assistance to improve agricultural production and fisheries.

The project will also provide alternative livelihood and entrepreneurial skills development and strengthen community-based disaster risk management.

 Also, women and children from four priority towns, namely Mulanay, San Narciso, Unisan and Catanauan on Bondoc Peninsula, will benefit from improved maternity and child care programs of their respective local governments.—JMA/JV, GMANews.TV


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