Tokyo inks $1.35-M project for ex-combatants in BARMM

Tokyo inks $1.35-M project for ex-combatants in BARMM

By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora

CAPACITY-BUILDING. Japan Ambassador to the Philippines Haneda Koji shakes hands with UNFPA country representative Iori Kato during the signing of USD1.35-million capacity-building projects in Bangsamoro. Together with the two is International Organization for Migration Chief of Mission Kristin Marie Dadey. (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – Japan on Monday inked a USD1.35-million project for the reintegration of former women combatants in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

The project, which will be implemented by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), will assist former female members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front-Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (MILF-BIAF) by “transforming them into the community-level service providers as para-social workers to provide psychosocial support to the survivors of gender-based violence.”

“The concept of this project was indeed born out of a common notion shared by Japan and UNFPA that empowering women and girls, ending gender-based violence, and ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health are keys to building peace, eradicating poverty and enhancing resilience,” UNFPA Country Representative Iori Kato said.

Kato said the funding will also assist the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) in reducing maternal mortality and enhancing family planning in line with the BARMM’s development plan.

The BTA is the governing body established to supervise the transition from the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao to the new Bangsamoro government in 2022.

“By the end of this initiative, we hope to see a pool of empowered former female soldiers, able to rejoin society as equipped individuals with much potential,” Japanese Ambassador Koji Haneda said.

Meanwhile, he assured that Japan will continue to provide support in building healthier communities towards peace and development in Mindanao.

“We hold firm to our clear vision of a peaceful and prosperous Bangsamoro Region where no one is left behind,” the envoy said. (PNA)

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