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Japan inaugurates excellence center in Cotabato City

February 20, 2009 8:49pm

Tags: Japan
MANILA, Philippines – Japan will show anew its commitment to peace in Mindanao with the inauguration of a Project for Center for Excellence in Humanitarian Service in Cotabato City on Saturday.

According to the Japanese Embassy Web site, Minister Hidenobu Sobashima, deputy chief of mission, will lead the inaugural ceremony.

"For this project, the grant of $81,628 [P3.6 million] was provided from the government of Japan for the construction of a two-story training center that has facilities for trainings, meetings, and research in humanitarian assistance," the embassy said.

The newly built center for training staff of governmental agencies and nongovernment organizations will contribute to coordinating immediate assistance for victims of conflicts and natural disasters.

It will also train those who engage in such assistance and equip them with practical management skills to cope with an emergency.

The project is being implemented under the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD), which was launched in December 2006 as part of Japan's commitment to support peace and development efforts in Mindanao.

Under J-BIRD, schools, training centers, and water systems have been rehabilitated and constructed through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).

Two weeks ago, Japanese Ambassador Makoto Katsura led the turnover ceremonies also in Mindanao for the ARMM Regional Science High School, the Relief Assistance for Mindanao Evacuees, and the Houses for Typhoon Victims.

Japan's assistance for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Mindanao, who have been forced to evacuate since last August because of the conflict between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), includes the Grant Agreement signed last month to provide emergency food aid amounting to ¥860 million ($9.5 million), or 7,500 metric tons of rice, through the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). - GMANews.TV

Tags: Japan