The Philippines must play an important role in maintaining stability in a troubled region. Mindanao has been the center of significant separatist conflict, most recently between t he GRP and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Muslim minorities in Mindanao are economically marginalized and at times excluded from political participation, lack adequate access to social services and economic opportunities , and resent government policies which they perceive as favoring the Christian majority. Development needs are particularly striking in the conflict - affected areas (CAA) of Mindanao, especially the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Approximately 2.4 million people li ve in the ARMM, which has the Philippines’ highest poverty rates (with income/capita well under US$1/day) and the worst human development indicators. Population growth is even more rapid in the ARMM than in the country as a whole, placing increasing pressure on scarce resources. These conditions contribute to an acute sense of exclusion that fuels the destabilizing and sometimes violent search for political alternatives , and continue to make Mindanao the priority geographic focus for the strategy .
|Source Institution||World Bank|
|Place of Publication||Pasig City|
|Original Publication Date||March 14, 2005|