Australian Ambassador and NCMF officials join community members in Iftar event on Holy Month of Ramadan
08 August 2013
Australian Ambassador H.E. Bill Tweddell (3rd from right) and Secretary Mehol K. Sadain (4th from right) of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) joined community members, as well as other Ambassadors and diplomatic officials for an Iftar dinner, hosted by the Australian Embassy and NCMF, on the evening of 5 August 2013.
Iftar refers to the evening meal around sunset time, when Muslims break their daily fast during the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Australia announced last week that it would give an additional AU$1.8 million (around PHP70 million) to support peace efforts in Mindanao. Of this, AU$1.3 million (PHP50 million) will be directed to the Mindanao Trust Fund to help improve livelihoods, health, and education in conflict-affected communities. AU$500,000 (PHP20 million) will be given to the World Bank and UN to assist the Moro Islamic Liberation Front with training, policy advice and technical assistance to finalise the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
In recent years around half of Australia’s aid program in the Philippines has gone to Mindanao.* Australian aid is introducing education opportunities in vulnerable and remote communities where school-based education has not been possible due to decades of ongoing conflicts.
In the past twelve months Australian aid has helped open over 400 Community Learning Centres, providing access to basic education to more than 11,000 children in Mindanao.
* Official Development Assistance from Australia for the current year (2012-2013 period) is estimated at PHP5.5 billion (AU$128.7 million)