IFAD to Support a Resource Management Project in the Republic of the Philippines

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IFAD to Support a Resource Management Project in the Republic of the Philippines

Press release number: IFAD 22/02

Rome, 8 April 2002 – A USD 21.6 million project in the Republic of the Philippines – The Northern Mindanao Community Initiatives and Resource Management Project – will receive a USD 14.8 million loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). A financing agreement was signed today by His Excellency Mr Philippe J. Lhuillier, Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to Italy and Mr. Lennart Båge, President of IFAD.

This six-year project aims to reduce the vulnerability and enhance the food security of about 58,500 poor households living in 270 of the poorest villages of the Caraga and Northern Mindanao regions. The target groups will comprise poor and disenfranchised communities including indigenous people, fisher families, agrarian reform beneficiaries, landless workers, upland dwellers and women, among others. There are various factors that have contributed to the high incidence of poverty in these regions among which: lack of social infrastructure and government support services, lack of basic services, lack of access to goods and services (eg. extension, credit, inputs and post harvest facilities). The majority of households are extremely vulnerable, most are landless and some resort to farming as tenants or paid agricultural workers.

The Northern Mindanao Community Initiatives and Resource Management Project seeks to reduce vulnerability, improve access to essential services, support diverse livelihood options (crops, fishery and forestry), empower grass-roots institutions and mainstream the concerns of gender and indigenous peoples.

The project will promote a process of social mobilization and participatory planning that will enable communities to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate initiatives that they themselves have selected. Community development facilitators will work closely with volunteer community organizers to facilitate the promotion of community institutions and self help groups in each settlement. Women will constitute at least 50% of these groups and are expected to be the main agents of change. In addition, the project will seek to improve the situation of indigenous peoples through advocacy campaigns, legal assistance and orientation programmes.

To date, IFAD has financed 10 projects in the Republic of Philippines for a total cost of USD 104 million and a total loan amount of about USD 81.65 million.

IFAD is a specialised agency of the United Nations with the specific mandate of combating hunger and poverty in the most disadvantaged regions of the world. Since 1978 IFAD has financed 603 projects in 115 recipient countries and in the West Bank and Gaza for a total commitment of approximately USD 7.3 billion in loans and grants. Through these projects, about 250 million rural people have had a chance to move out of poverty. IFAD makes the greater part of its resources available available to low-income countries on very favourable terms, with up to 40 years for repayment and including a grace period of up to ten years and a service charge of 0.75% per year.