Swedish, Finnish Ambassadors and EU Envoys Visit Mindanao

Finnish ambassador to the Philippines Riitta Resch and Swedish ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Annika Markovic, were among other EU envoys who recently visited Mindanao in the southern Philippines to monitor progress of European Commission-funded rural development projects.
         The projects aim to increase self-reliance, living standards, and quality of life of the disadvantaged in Mindanao.
         The delegation was scheduled to look into the development of the EC-funded Support for Agrarian Reform Communities in Central Mindanao (STARCM). 
The EC is the executive body of the European Union, and provides a total of EU18.422 million for STARCM.
         Some STARCM projects include the provision of a potable water system, vegetable production, and palm oil cultivation machinery in the provinces of North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat.
         The delegation also visited projects for internally-displaced persons in Midsayap in Cotabato, in Datu Montawal and Buluan in Maguindanao, where EC has a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme.
         The delegation then visited the Belgian-assisted Income-Generating Projects Association in Waan (IGPAW) in Davao City, one of the nine cooperatives being provided with small loans for income-generating projects.
         Among the other envoys on the trip were European Commission Ambassador to the Philippines Jan de Kok, Ambassadors Herbert Jager and Martina Corrado of Austria, Grégoire Vardakis of Belgium, Jaroslav Ludva of the Czech Republic, Riitta Resch of Finland, Rubens Fedele of Italy, João Caetano Da Silva of Portugal, Peter and Jill Beckingham of the United Kingdom and Radu Homescu of Romania.

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