5.17.2009

PIA News Service - Monday, May 18, 2009

Delia Albert reveals Germany’s assistance to Caraga

SURIGAO CITY – Philippine Ambassador to Germany H.E. Delia Domingo Albert revealed Germany’s assistance to Caraga region aimed at reducing poverty and peace-building.

Speaking before participants of 300 during the holding of 5th Caraga Mining Summit held recently here, HE Albert divulged why they have chosen Caraga region as the center of development aid of Germany, “Why Caraga? As many of you may be aware, the region has been identified with a high incidence of poverty or 53% of the population are poor. Poverty in the German study on the region refers not only to income but also in terms of services and resources and related dimensions measured according to human development indices.”

She said the region is seen to be facing multifaceted conflict with a need for crises-prevention as well as conflict management, transformation and eventual resolution.

Albert revealed that both governments agreed to allocate barely 7 million euros or about P434 million to fund the project known as “COSERAM” meaning “Conflict Sensitive Resource and Asset Management in the Caraga Region.”

The objective of the project according to Albert “is to enable the majority of the local people to benefit economically from the rich natural resources of the region in a responsible, peaceful, and also in a just manner.”

The said project is linked closely and directly to the objectives of the summit which seeks to “adopt best mining practices through strategic partnerships for sustainable and self-reliant mining communities,” Albert added.

Just like any bilateral cooperation project, COSERAM supports the development priorities in the medium-term development plan of the government.

Albert then urged the participants to contribute their share in fulfilling the efforts of a foreign country to help improve the lives of people in Mindanao, especially Caraga whose needs have been carefully identified and assessed.

“If we succeed in this particular project, it may encourage more countries to increase its assistance to a deserving region. Let us make the Caraga region an example of a region able to absorb the goodwill, the trust and the financial support that will go with the project,” she added.

Albert appealed to all Caraganons not waste these golden opportunities being given to the region.

“I believe that with your natural endowments plus good governance, Caraga will have the recipe to make a leap from its current ranking as the second poorest region in the country to take its rightful place in our richly-endowed country,” she concluded. (Fryan E. Abkilan, PIA-Surigao del Norte)