The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has allocated around USD 1.3 billion for providing financial assistance and funding for Mindanao’s long-term development. This amount is apart from the USD 408 million worth of loans granted last week by the ADB for the Emergency Assistance for the Reconstruction and Recovery of Marawi.
The additional USD 1.3 billion is allocated under ADB’s Country Partnership Strategy.
“In the next three to four years or 5 years, the Philippines Country Partnership Strategy has a pipeline of projects which totals to about USD1.3 billion,” said ADB Principal Country Specialist for the Philippines Joven Balbosa.
According to Balbosa, the Country Partnership Strategy will support projects in Mindanao that are related to infrastructure, regional development, and investment in people. The nature of these lead to the long-teerm development and flourishing of the region.
Of the USD1.3 billion, USD300 million is meant for the improvement of road corridors. Mindanao, the second biggest island in the Philippine archipelago, has struggled with connectivity within its land mass because of a lack of proper roads. The ADB’s funding program will also finance the Integrated Flood Risk Management Project of three river basins in Mindanao.
As part of the long-term developmental support the ADB is extending, regional development, particularly for South-Central Mindanao, is being eyed by the institution.
According to Balbosa, the funding program will develop more livable cities in Mindanao through its support of irrigation developement, agro-enterprises, and other livelihood programs in partnership with expanding infrastructure in the southern part of the country.
The Country Partnership Strategy and this specific financing for Mindanao’s development is in line with the ADB’s Strategy 2030, which aims to reduce poverty, fight climate change, promote rural development, support regional development, advocate for gender equality, aid governance and institutions, and develop livable cities by funding projects and programs which pursue the same.
“We also recognized that to bring about longer lasting peace, it also requires longer-term development,” said ADB Country Director for the Philippines Kelly Bird.