MILF Thankful for Japan-funded Youth and Children Center

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Cotabato City – The Chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) expressed his sincerest appreciation and gratitude to Japanese Ambassador who turned-over the Japan-funded Youth and Children Center in Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao on March 15, 2016.

Japanese Ambassador in the Philippines Kazuhide Ishikawa formally turned-over Darapanan Youth and Children Center, a project that was coursed through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects of the Japanese government.

Ishikawa said the completion of the significant building which was funded by the government of Japan in 2014 is intended to benefit the affected Bangsamoro youth.

“This project aims to uplift capacities, increase income and eventually improve the economic status of these beneficiaries,” he said.

“All of us want to see these youth have a bright future, without getting involved in conflicts,” the Japanese Ambassador further said.

MILF Chair Al Haj Murad Ebrahim commended the Japanese government for its strong commitment to the peace process in Mindanao.

He also told the Ambassador that the building serves as foundation of friendship and a beacon of hope for the Bangsamoro people.

“Your presence conveys that you have not abandoned us during these difficult times,” Murad said.

Ambassador Ishikawa also expressed that his government will continue to support all efforts to improve the lives of the Bangsamoro.

The building will serve as a learning center for the Moro youth who want to acquire capability-building and livelihood skills training.

Meanwhile, the Ambassador signed contract with five people’s organizations on March 14 at Al Nor Convention in Cotabato for the implementation of development projects in conflict-affected communities.

Japan provides financial aid amounting 20 million pesos as part of its continuous assistance for peace and development in Mindanao.

Japan has been implementing Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects under Japan-Bangsamoro Initiative for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD) since 2006.

The Japanese government intends to promote the J-BIRD II that will focus more on ensuring economic autonomy in the Bangsamoro areas.

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