Donor Support: Mindanao Final Agreement
II. The Transitional Period
The OIC shall be requested to continue to extend its assistance and good offices in monitoring the full implementation of this agreement during the transitional period until the regular autonomous government is firmly established and for this purpose, help generate broad international support for the Zone of Peace and Development.
Mindanao has been the recipient or target of an extensive amount of international aid both before and after the 1996. USAID had been working in Mindanao since the early 1990’s with projects designed to help alleviate poverty and increase good governance with programs like GEM, ELAP, LEAP, and SWIFT.1
Narrowing the focus to international support for the Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development (SPCPD), there were no reports of activities related to soliciting donor support for the SPCPD in 1996. The accord gives the Organization of Islamic Congress a mandate to help solicit international support until the government of the ARMM is fully in place and operational. Viewed in this manner, the OIC has some mandate in this area until 2001 when the new ARMM Government is voted into office.
- 1. "Update: ELAP and GEM in the Philippines," The Berger Group, 2012, accessed July 24, 2012, http://www.bergergroup.com/?p=open_work&type=work&id=12&t=Update:_ELAP_a....
In 1997, phase one of the United Nations Multi-Donor Programme (GOP-UNMDP) begins. The GOP-UNMDP program, in collaboration with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development (SPCPD), sponsored programs aimed at some 70,000 MNLF ex-combatants and their family members. Australia was the largest contributor to the Action for Conflict Transformation (ACT) under the Government of the Philippines – United Nations Multi-Donor Programme (GOP-UNMDP).2
In August 1997, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) hired the Berger Group to initiate the Emergency Livelihood Assistance Program (ELAP). ELAP was designed to transform 13,000 former MNLF guerillas into productive farmers. ELAP, is a subcomponent of the Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program, which the Berger Group had been implementing since 1995 in collaboration with USAID, SPCPD, the National Economic and Development Authority and the Bangsamoro Women's Foundation for Peace and Development (BMWFPD). GEM/ELAP commenced with funding of $2.15 million to provide three core programs (1) farm inputs and training for corn and seaweed production, (2) participant managed community credit fund, and (3) literacy program for 600 ex-combatants and their female family members. ELAP started with 4000 MNLF beneficiaries in 1997. From August 1997 to December of 1998, 4000 MNLF ex-combatants entered the corn and seaweed programs.3
In December 1997, $500 million was pledged in a meeting attended by representatives from the Consultative Group for the Philippines for the development of Mindanao which included livelihood training projects.fnvalue=4]"Philippines Gets Us$500 million for Mindanao Development," AAP Newsfeed, December 23, 1997.
- 2. "ACT for Peace Project Document," UNMDP, accessed July 30, 2012,http://aid.dfat.gov.au/countries/eastasia/philippines/Documents/afp-proj....
- 3. "Update: ELAP and GEM in the Philippines."
In February, Iran pledged its support to the economic development of ARMM and SZOPAD along with more bilateral trade with the Philippines.5 In March, the World Bank approved a USD 10 million loan to the Philippines for the SZOPAD for poverty-reduction programs.6
Phase 2 of GOP-UNMDP commences in 1998. USAID’s GEM/ELAP program also continues through 1998 bringing 320 private investments valued at more than $700 million to Mindanao. The GEM program is credited with creating 57,000 jobs in Mindanao. A literacy program was launched in September 1998 with a grant from World Education, a U.S. NGO. By May 2000, 934 people had completed the functional literacy program.7
The SWIFT program (Support with Implementing Fast Transitions) commenced in April 1999 with the same objectives as earlier programs (GEM/ELAP), that is, providing farming/livelihood assistance. The SWIFT program also sought to build post-harvest processing facilities to improve economies of scale, and build local democratic structures. There appears to be no data on how many farmers interacted with these processing facilities at harvest time.8
A USAID fourth quarter progress report on SWIFT shows that 16,899 families participated.9 The SWIFT program is concluded in December and external audits of ELAP/LEAP and SWIFT show moderate successes.10
While GEM was conceived as a five-year program running from 1995 to 2001, increased terrorism in Mindanao in 2000 and 2001 influences USAID to extend their programs. In 2001, phase three of the United Nations Multi-Donor Programme (GOP-UNMDP) also begins. The GOP-UNMDP program, in collaboration with the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and Southern Philippines Council for Peace and Development (SPCPD), sponsored a reintegration assistance program aimed at some 70,000 MNLF ex-combatants and their family members. Australia was the largest contributor to the Action for Conflict Transformation (ACT) under the Government of the Philippines – United Nations Multi-Donor Programme (GOP-UNMDP).11
- 11. "Case Studies in Enterprise Development In Post-Conflict Situations: Bosnia – Philippines – Afghanistan, Technical Brief No.4,” USAID/EGAT/EG, 2008, accesed January 2012, http://www.enterprise-development.org/download.ashx?id=2102.
In 2002, Gem-2 commences with a plan of running from 2002 to 2007. ELAP is renamed the Livelihood Enhancement and Peace Program (LEAP).
GEM-2 and LEAP continue to operate in 2003. No updates found on other ongoing programs for this year.
GEM-2 and LEAP continue to operate in 2004. As of June 2004, the UNDP Program had provided livelihood assistance to 101 cooperatives with 4,388 beneficiaries (3,513 males and 875 females). UNDP provided 57 training courses on agricultural technologies and cooperative financial management to 1,867 beneficiaries (1,553 males and 314 females).
In 2005, the Action for Conflict Transformation (ACT) is the fourth phase of the Government of the Philippines – United Nations Multi-Donor Programme (GOP-UNMDP) that began in 1997. Funded by Australia, New Zealand and Spain, the final phase is being implemented from June 2005 up to May 2010. It covers 16 provinces and 14 cities of the former Special Zone for Peace and Development (SZOPAD) in Southern Philippines identified in the GRP-MNLF Final Peace Agreement, and the four provinces and three cities in the Caraga Region. The Mindanao Economic Development Council (MEDCo) serves as the overall implementing agency with the Regional Government of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) as the lead implementing agency for the ARMM areas. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) serves as the managing agent for the entire program. Also active in 2005 are the GEM-2 and LEAP programs. According to USAID reports, over 28,000 former MNLF combatants were assisted in GEM-2 from 2002 to 2007.12
- 12. "Case Studies in Enterprise Development In Post-Conflict Situations: Bosnia – Philippines – Afghanistan."