Bangsamoro Government, KOICA, and UNICEF support community resilience of children in conflict
Cotabato City, 16 November 2023 – The Bangsamoro Government, the Government of the Republic of Korea through Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), and UNICEF today launched a programme 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 per cent 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.
5.95 million dollars or 332 million pesos are targeted to reach 282,000 individuals, including 217,140 children under-five years old. The programme 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 programmes 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 says.
“Every child everywhere deserves peace. When peace reigns in a community, children can play, go to school, seek healthcare, and grow up with adults that nurture and care for them. 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.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in the Philippines, visit www.unicef.ph.