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US resumes some dev’t projects in Maguindanao

By Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 07:28:00 01/02/2010

Filed Under: Foreign Aid, Security (general), Maguindanao Massacre

MANILA, Philippines?After a month-long suspension, the United States has resumed some of its development projects in Maguindanao.

?Some of our education and health activities have resumed in Maguindanao,? Rebecca Thompson, spokesperson of the US Embassy in Manila, told the Inquirer on Friday, adding that they ?have been watching the situation closely with a view to resuming full operations as early as possible.?

The US suspended field work on its development projects on Dec. 1 because of safety and security concerns following the Nov. 23 massacre of 57 people in Maguindanao.

?We are in regular contact with government officials about possible additional assistance in the areas of education, public health and good governance to help the people of Maguindanao move forward,? Thompson said.

Washington?s development initiatives in other parts of Mindanao were not disrupted, according to Thompson.

Earlier, US Ambassador to the Philippines Kristie Kenney said she suspended American projects in Maguindanao because she did not want field personnel of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) to get hurt.

USAID oversees Washington?s social development projects in Mindanao, among them the $85-million (about P3.92 billion) EQuALLS, or Education Quality and Access for Learning and Livelihood Skills. The project aims to help the Department of Education build alternative learning systems for out-of-school youth and train public school teachers in new methods of teaching English, Mathematics and Science.

Another USAID-supervised project, the Growth with Equity in Mindanao-2 (GEM-2) program, focuses on war-torn areas, including Maguindanao, and covers the construction of water systems, warehouses, solar dryers, boat landings, community centers, and roads and bridges.



Copyright 2014 Philippine Daily Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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