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Home to some 4 million Filipinos, the new political entity Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) was formed in February 2019, following the Plebiscites that accepted the Bangsamoro Organic Law. After decades of armed conflict, this new transition provides a historic window of opportunity for a region that faces a myriad of challenges.

With the poverty incidence rate of 63 percent, BARMM is one of the poorest regions in the country.  It holds one of the highest levels of infant and maternal mortality and one of the lowest life expectancies. It is ranked as one of the lowest in reproductive health indicators such as modern contraception, antenatal care, skilled birth attendance and use of health facilities for childbirth. 

As it lays the ground work for a regional government, the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) faces further challenges as local governance and parliamentary procedures are new to the members of the BTA.

UNFPA works with the BTA on the areas of maternal health, gender equality, protection of women and girls from violence, empowerment of young people and population data management with a particular focus on reaching the furthest behind, especially the poorest, disaster-prone communities, indigenous peoples and people with disabilities.

The prevention of armed conflict, religious extremism and blood feuds is key to the region’s development. The youth are particularly vulnerable, and UNFPA supports the BTA in empowering young people to make informed decisions and become resilient in the face of change. UNFPA gives young people a platform to voice their concerns and develop innovative solutions by themselves. We also plan is to transform female ex-combatants into social, health and gender service providers.

We also provide support to BARMM in accelerating humanitarian preparedness efforts to address risks and build resilience to ensure that systems, communities and societies are better equipped to respond to and recover from emergencies.  

Key Projects (2019 – 2023):

1.        Operationalization of the Humanitarian-Development-Peacebuilding-Human Rights Nexus (USD 4,928,830 is unfunded)

2.        Comprehensive support to Protecting and Advancing Women and Girls Health and Rights (USD 513,000 is unfunded)

3.        Development and pilot-testing of community mobilization/social norms change model to address gender-based violence (USD 695,000 from 2019-2023; of which USD 695,000 is unfunded)

4.        Ensuring provision of life-saving SRH and GBV-related interventions for crisis situations in the provinces of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (USD 460,000 is unfunded)