ACT FOR PEACE SITE VISIT- ZAMBOANGA CITY APRIL 2008
Tuaeb Ali (second from right), president of the Western Mindanao Federation of Peace and Development Advocates Alliances, Inc. explains the role of the Peace and Development Advocates in the development and transformation of Peace and Development Community Eleven Islands, a cluster of islands, in Zamboanga City. For 30 years, Eleven Islands was a “no man’s land” due to conflict between the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Philippine Government in the 1970s. Through the peace-building and development initiatives of the ACT for Peace Programme, 200 families have returned to Eleven Islands since 2006. A multi-purpose peace centre and a barangay health station are among the infrastructure projects now present in the community.
ACT for Peace is the fourth phase of the Government of the Philippines – United Nations Multi-Donor Programme (GoP-UNMDP). With support from the Governments of Australia, New Zealand, and Spain, ACT for Peace supports the peace and development advocates, most of whom were former MNLF combatants, in doing voluntary work in community organizing, resource mobilization and bridging peace and development communities with concerned government agencies and other donor agencies. Australia, through its international aid agency AusAID, has been the largest donor since 1997 to the GoP-UN MDP with contribution of about Php 1.3 billion (A$34.4 million) until 2010.
Joining Ali were (L-R): ACT for Peace Programme Manager Diosita Andot, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Sec. Jesus Dureza, also the ACT for Peace National Programme Director, Zamboanga City Mayor Celso Lobregat, AusAID Minister Counsellor Titon Mitra, UN Resident Coordinator Nileema Noble, Commander Akbari Samson and other members of the Eleven Islands community.