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USAID Mission Director visits Basilan, observes aid to former rebels


USAID MISSION DIRECTOR IN BASILAN Gloria Steele (left), Mission Director of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Philippines presents a token of appreciation to Basilan Governor Jum Jainuddin-Akbar for her hospitality at the provincial capitol in Isabela City. Gov. Akbar said that USAID has a significant positive impact on the lives of Basileños through the various projects being implemented by the Agency across the province. Director Steele and other officials met with the provincial government officials to discuss USAID development programs for Basilan, and visited the site of a high-value aquaculture project being implemented by USAID's Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program, which is providing sustainable livelihood opportunities for approximately 400 former Moro National Liberation Front combatants. Director Steele also inspected a boat landing built under USAID-GEM's Barangay Infrastructure Project. The GEM Program is implemented under the oversight of the Mindanao Development Authority.



SUSTAINABLE ABALONE PRODUCTION IN BASILAN USAID Mission Director Gloria Steele (left) and Isabela City Mayor Cherrylyn Akbar view young abalone being cultivated by former combatants of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) in Isabela, Basilan, with assistance from USAID's Growth with Equity in Mindanao (GEM) Program. Lauro Ilagan (right), GEM senior aquaculture specialist, explains the spawning cycle of abalone, which is being bought for around PhP350 per kilo by Zamboanga-based traders who sell to domestic and export markets. Approximately 400 former combatants in 11 MNLF cooperatives in Basilan have been assisted by the USAID-GEM Program to venture into the production and marketing of high-value aquaculture products such as grouper and abalone.


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