EC donates 1 million euros to southern Philippine trust fund

Manila_(dpa) _ The European Commission (EC) turned over on Thursday a 1-million-euro contribution to a World Bank-administered trust fund for the troubled southern Philippine region of Mindanao.

Ambassador Alistair MacDonald, head of the EC delegation in the Philippines, said the contribution was "an initial step" in the commission's commitment to the multi-donour initiative for Mindanao.

"I am confident that our assistance will provide a further impetus to the work of the Mindanao Trust Fund in its support for sustainable peace and development in the southern Philippines," MacDonald said.

The Mindanao Trust Fund was established in July 2005, and is administered by the World Bank.

It provides grant funding to conflict-affected areas in Mindanao, with the priority of stabilizing existing communities and resettling displaced persons.

Mindanao has been wracked by a decades-old Muslim separatist insurgency, which has hampered growth and development in the mineral-rich region.

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