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NZ pledges $3-M aid to Mindanao

DAVAO CITY – The New Zealand Government has vowed to donate US$3 million over the next three years to support the peace efforts in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao.

David Strachan, New Zealand ambassador to the Philippines, told a press conference on Wednesday evening at the Marco Polo Hotel here that they want to be involved in the poverty alleviation to help the affected families and the combatants get a sustainable livelihood after seeing a tremendous development in the peace efforts under a new administration.

“I think, with the peace process taking shape now, it seems a good time to do what we can to support the government’s initiatives,” said Strachan.

Strachan reveals they are involved in the project of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in North Cotabato that supports the reintegration of the former combatants to the workforce and provide livelihood for the people.

It is set to support 10,000 households, or 52,000 people, and at least 15 barangays in five municipalities of North Catabato. (Antonio Colina)