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Oxfam pools resources for 3 most depressed Mindanao regions

07/14/2008 | 11:32 PM

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – After 15 years of implementing peace and development projects in Mindanao, Oxfam Great Britain (OGB), Oxfam Hong Kong (OHK) and Oxfam-Novib (ON), have pooled their resources together to implement a “one-Oxfam” project in the three most depressed regions in Southern Philippines.

To be implemented over a period of 10 years, the project will be launched on July 16 in this city.

It will focus on coastal resource management, access to basic education, peace-building, indigenous people’s rights and rural livelihoods.

“In the next five to 10 years, the Joint Oxfam Mindanao programme will work with others to achieve sustainable livelihoods and greater protection for the Lumad, Bangsamoro, small asset-holders and internally-displaced men, women and children in Caraga, Central Mindanao (CM) and the Autonomous Region for Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Most especially, women will be free from conflict, violence and discrimination and will realize their right to a secure livelihood,” the Joint Oxfam Mindanao Programme goal reads.

The decision to merge the three groups in a “one Oxfam” project was made in 2005 following a series of research activities that produced an analysis of the poverty and conflict in Mindanao and eventually, a comprehensive document recommending strategic directions for a joint Oxfam programme” which was adopted OGB, OHK and ON last October 2006.

The Joint Oxfam Mindanao programme set the following as its five to 10-year objectives:

1) To secure access of men and women to productive assets, markets and economic resources for food security and improved income.

2) To increase resilience of men, women and children to conflict and disasters and restore inter-ethnic trust and confidence.

3) To make duty-bearers, especially state actors, accountable in conflict and disaster prevention and protection.

4) To increase the participation and capacity of women in leadership and decision-making and be free from discrimination and violence.

Felipe “Ipe” Ramiro Jr., Joint Oxfam Mindanao programme coordinator, could not, however, present a figure on how much will the entire project cost, saying the financial requirement is “variable, depending on the strategic fit, the needs of the poor regions, the capacity of the partners and the strategic goal of each of the three Oxfams.”

While the project will be implemented in Caraga, Central Mindanao and the Autonomous Region, its Program Management Unit will be based in this city where “policy engagements with government, the private sector, donors and Mindanao-wide civil society organizations” would be done.

In Caraga, the project will be implemented in the provinces of Provinces of Agusan Norte, Agusan Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao Sur and Surigao Norte, Cities of Surigao and Butuan.

In ARMM, the provinces that will be served are Maguindanao and Lanao Sur, Marawi City, while Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato, and the cities of Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato will be the beneficiaries for the Central Mindanao Region.

A salient feature of the Joint Oxfam Program is its conscious effort to “mainstream gender justice and active citizenship in all its partnerships.”

Ramiro said that they would “give attention to building enterprise development interventions in Caraga” by way of leveraging funds and technical expertise to assist organized groups of farmers and fishers so they “gain control over resources and access to supply chains and markets.”

In Central Mindanao and in ARMM, the Joint Oxfam Program will continue to work with partners in the area of conflict, disaster prevention and humanitarian protection and encourage CSOs to collaborate with government, traditional leaders and other groups in peace-building, in protecting rights of the internally-displaced and in reducing risks to livelihoods resulting from disasters, he said. – Romy Elusfa, GMANews.TV

  1. One Response to “Oxfam pools resources for 3 most depressed Mindanao regions”

  2. By Brian Laurence on Sep 11, 2008

    are you looking for volunteers to assist in Kidapawan area? I am very interested in making contact and offering myself as a volunteer. I will be in area 2 – 3 week of october 2008.
    I have 2 years experience working with VSA (New Zealand) in Pacific region and have experience in logistics (purchasing, warehousing, transportation, sales and marketing), working with people of another culture, and experience in growing vegetable crops and small livestock .

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