JAPAN and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have signed an agreement supporting the reduction of small arms and light weapons in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, according to a statement released by the Japanese Embassy on Tuesday.
“This project will be a big step as the first large-scale and comprehensive project to tackle the issue of private small arms and light weapons,” Japanese Ambassador to the Philippines Koshikawa Kazuhiko said in a statement.
Japan will provide a grant of $5 million (P284 million) for the enforcement of decommissioning and normalization aspects of the Mindanao peace process.
The UNDP will bring the project to vulnerable communities with more than 6,000 residents. It plans to address the issue of sporadic conflicts caused by using private arms.
Japan has been supporting the peace process in the Bangsamoro region for more than two decades, having donated more than $500 million under the Japan-Bangsamoro initiatives for reconstruction and development — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan