Covid-19 impacts BARMM development

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DESPITE logging a relatively low number of Covid-19 cases in the past year, the pandemic still has had a substantial affect on the socioeconomic development of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

A study commissioned by the Bangsamoro Planning and Development Authority and supported by the Embassy of Japan in the Philippines showed that 53.5 percent of respondents interviewed indicated that their livelihoods or business were affected by the quarantine restrictions in BARMM.

The assessment further noted that members of the informal sector — many of whom were women — were among the hardest hit by the pandemic because of work stoppages. The findings also highlighted the impact of the pandemic in the region in terms of more than just income such as the people’s health, education and food security.

The Socioeconomic Impact Assessment of Covid-19 in BARMM was undertaken by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). It was recently presented to the public through a forum in Cotabato City in the presence of the BARMM Interim Chief Minister, Ahod Balawag Ebrahim; the BARMM ministers; the United Nations resident coordinator, Gustavo Gonzalez; the members of the diplomatic corps; and the representatives of local government units.

“The assessment is extremely helpful to make sure that we will truly surpass this phase and restore our public health and economy to normal. The government of the Bangsamoro is working tirelessly to make sure that no Bangsamoro is left behind. The launch is symbolic towards our joint efforts in revitalizing our economy and allowing its growth to trickle down to every Bangsamoro household,” said Ebrahim in his keynote message.

The assessment also examined the response of the BARMM government to the Covid-19 crisis and provided recommendations to support the government’s transition and push towards achieving sustainable economic development.

The UNDP is the leading United Nations organization fighting to end the injustice of poverty, inequality and climate change.


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