THE government of Canada will contribute about P178 million to a sustainable development project in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

In a document dated March 7, the World Bank said Canada will provide the equivalent of $4.38 million in Canadian dollars for the Bangsamoro Normalization Multi-Donor Trust Fund over the next three years.

The World Bank in May last year said it started to manage the trust fund receiving foreign financing for BARMM development. The fund is expected to support the peace process in the region and boost the local economy through resources from development partners.

Canada will make five deposits between March 31, 2022 and June 30, 2025. The first installment at the end of this month was the equivalent of $2.75 million in Canadian dollars.

Canada and the World Bank may review the rate at which payments are made based on the speed of implementing projects and the availability of other funds.

The trust fund aims to help former Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) combatants and redevelop six previous MILF camps into “peaceful and productive communities.”

The fund will finance studies on normalization in the conflict-torn region, knowledge-sharing activities, communication materials development, and regular consultations.

It will also finance impact assessments on the normalization process and provide technical assistance and training to government agencies involved in the process.

The fund will also provide grants for national and local government agencies for operational and technical support.

Support for former combatants and their communities includes unconditional cash transfers, vocational training, micro-enterprise promotion, and employment assistance. — Jenina P. Ibañez