Australia has been a strong supporter of peace and development in Mindanao for over 20 years, working with the Philippine Government, local governments, multilateral and non-governmental organisations to build resilience in communities affected by conflict.
Australia’s current work supports the peace process between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). This includes supporting the establishment of the new Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), and working towards long-term stability, security and development in the region’s conflict-affected areas.
Our support for the peace process is effectively preventing and countering violent extremism, as the failure to secure an autonomous region by peaceful means is a key recruitment narrative for violent extremist groups. Australia increased support for preventing and countering violent extremism following the Marawi siege.
This work is a significant aspect of our 75-year partnership with the Philippines. Our development program has long supported Mindanao, across a range of sectors including education, health, indigenous peoples and land governance. Australia’s active engagement in Mindanao since 1996 has focused on both addressing immediate needs as well as the changes needed for long term peace and development – leading to a secure and prosperous Mindanao that will benefit not only the people of the Southern Philippines but the entire country as well.
Australia recognises the ongoing challenges to the peace process, and as a major donor, believes the international community plays an important role in supporting this work. By working with the Philippine Government, local governments, multilateral and non-governmental organisations, Australia is supporting the establishment of the new Bangsamoro Regional Government. We have also invested in mechanisms to avert the escalation of violence, and support community-driven development, along with helping improving access to economic, and strengthening community cohesion and resilience.