Australian Embassy
The Philippines

MR140131a - Australia to provide A$6million (Php240million) funding support to Peace Process

Australia to provide A$6million (Php240million) funding support to Peace Process
31 January 2014

The Australian Government has expressed its continued commitment to the peace process between the Philippine Government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) by announcing new funding to support their efforts to usher in a new, more positive chapter in Mindanao.

“With this announcement, Australia seeks to support a more peaceful, secure and prosperous Mindanao to benefit not only the people of Southern Philippines but the entire country as well,” Australian Ambassador Bill Tweddell said.

The Australian Government has committed funding of A$6 million (PhP240 million) over the next three years to support the peace process, including by boosting institutional capacity of key institutions to implement the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

Ambassador Tweddell said that half of the Australian aid program in the Philippines is focused on Mindanao, working in areas such as education, economic development and disaster risk reduction, and this A$6 million (PhP240 million) funding over the next three years will add to this investment.

“We recognize the work that needs to be done in Mindanao, and we stand with the Filipino people in our commitment to support the long term stability and development of the region,” Ambassador Tweddell said.

Australia has long provided assistance to the peace process through its aid program, including technical assistance to the Office of the Presidential Adviser to the Peace Process and funding to the World Bank and the United Nations to assist parties as they finalize the basic law for the Bangsamoro.

It has also provided an international expert to the Independent Commission on Policing, which is currently working to provide recommendations on policing arrangements for the proposed Bangsamoro entity.

Ambassador Tweddell had earlier commended the Aquino government for prioritizing the agreement to bring peace to Mindanao, and congratulated the parties on the recent signing of the final Annex on Normalisation under the Bangsamoro Framework Agreement in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Australian official development assistance in Mindanao is focused on improving access to quality basic education for children, including the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao; measures to alleviate poverty; improving the delivery of basic services and social services; and contributing to building capacity on disaster risk management.

Currently, Australia is one of the Philippines’ largest bilateral grant aid partners, providing A$137 million or Php5.5 billion in official development assistance in 2012-2013 alone. Australia expects to invest A$170 million (Php6.8 billion) in development investment to the Philippines in 2013-14. Australia expects to provide $170.1 million in development assistance to the Philippines in 2013–14.