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BARMM, KOICA, UNICEF support community resilience of children in conflict

BANGSAMORO NEWS UPDATES • 21:15 PM Fri Nov 17, 2023
Nash B. Maulana

The South Korean government continues to reach out to the Bangsamoro people, this time in providing support to the community resilience of children in conflict. 

On Thursday, the Bangsamoro Government, together with the Government of the Republic of Korea through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) launched in Cotabato City a collaborative program to strengthen community resilience and services for children, adolescents, and women living in vulnerable communities.

“Supporting Peacebuilding through Strengthening Essential Services for Vulnerable Children and Adolescents in Maguindanao and Cotabato City, BARMM” covers conflict-affected and remote municipalities of Maguindanao del Norte, Maguindanao del Sur and Cotabato City.

Maguindanao is one of the poorest and most conflict-affected provinces in the Philippines, putting children and young people at risk and unable to meet their full potential.

Around 80 percent of the total cases of Grave Child Rights Violations (GCRV) on children in situations of armed conflict happen in Mindanao.

"A responsive and progressive Bangsamoro is one that puts the future of our children at the fore. Promoting peace in our communities and building trust in one another will only make our region stronger. Let us come together for one purpose, to ensure that children live in safety, have access to social services, and are provided with their needs,” Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim says.  

About $5.95 million US dollars or P332 million pesos are targeted to reach 282,000 individuals, including 217,140 children under five years old. The program will deliver improved access to essential services in health, nutrition and WASH, early learning, and alternative learning system facilities, bolstering child protection systems, and strengthening local governance and humanitarian-peacebuilding-development nexus (HPDN) coordination.

The inclusion of vulnerable young people as effective drivers of good local governance and agents of change is also a vital component of the project. These programs reflect the aim of the Korean Government to help the Philippines achieve inclusive and sustainable development.

“Supporting peacebuilding efforts is a moral obligation for the well-being and future of the children. A peaceful community ensures that no child is left behind and that every child has the opportunity to pursue their goals in life, regardless of their background or circumstances,” KOICA Philippines Country Director KIM Eunsub said.

“Every child everywhere deserves peace. When peace reigns in a community, children can play, go to school, seek healthcare, and grow up with adults who nurture and care for them,” Eunsub said.

Addressing the roots of conflict and fragility and promoting the meaningful engagement of children and young people are the first steps in building lasting peace,” says UNICEF Philippines Representative Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov.


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