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4 USAID-focused programs for Mindanao

By Gabrielle Ariadne Aguilar/AdDU Intern


MINDANAO is heading in a positive direction, said United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Philippines Mission Director Ryan Washburn during the Mindanao Development Forum, on May 18. 

Since the early 1990s, USAID has consistently invested in Mindanao in many development programs and will continue to move forward.

Washburn highlighted four USAID-focused areas in Mindanao.

For over $5 million, USAID worked with cooperatives for livelihood and biodiversity, bamboo plantations, and women entrepreneurs in BARMM. Programs are also planned and implemented to combat deforestation. Loan credit guarantees are also accessible for entrepreneurs to credit and invest in their businesses.

USAID also committed another $5 million to strengthen institutions and enhance Mindanao’s peace-building process at the community and institutional levels.

As Mindanao is also vulnerable to natural disasters, USAID invested $4 million to boost disaster preparedness and response of communities and institutions.

Finally, USAID invested over $15 million to make healthcare accessible to the grassroots.

“Those are the programs that are specifically focused on Mindanao. Then we also have programs that are broader development programs here in the Philippines that touch on Mindanao,” Washburn said.

For decades now, USAID has helped Mindanao through grants and assistance as it believes the island’s potential as a significant contributing factor to the country’s development.

“We saw Secretary Diokno’s (Department of Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno) analysis of economic growth in Mindanao and how quickly the region has reduced poverty–it’s spectacular fashion… Something is working very well here, and we want to continue that,” Washburn said.


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