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Queen’s visit reaffirms Spanish commitment to PH development

(Manila, Philippines, July 16, 2012) — The recent visit of Queen Sofia of Spain reaffirms Spanish commitment to development of the Philippines, particularly through support provided under Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund (MDG-F), according to the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).

MDG-F issued a US$ 23-million grant to Philippines in 2008 to implement three-year projects related to climate change adaptation; access to and provision of water services; youth employment and migration; and children, food security and nutrition.

The work of MDG-F in the Philippines covers 93 local government units, according to Alberto Virella, AECID director general for Development Cooperation with Africa and Asia. “MDG-F has strengthened the capacities of the national government and local governments to accelerate progress and development – mainly through the introduction of various pilots and tools, and support for more coherent public policy supporting the focus areas.”

Queen Sofia visited the Province of Albay, one of priority areas of the United Nations (UN) and AECID. In a meeting held at the Climate Change Academy of Albay led by the heads of UN Agencies and Albay governor Joey Salceda, Queen Sofia learned more about the implementation of various MDG-F projects and other initiatives of humanitarian work in the country. The academy, the first in the Philippines, is among the MDG-F assisted projects intended to assist the national government in developing climate change adaptation capabilities.

Ugochi Daniels, UN Resident Coordinator ad interim, said the support of the government of Spain has been very crucial in helping localities reach their MDG targets. “The Queen’s visit sends a strong message on the work needed to achieve inclusive, sustainable and resilient development,” Daniels said. “We can only get there with strong partnerships. Through the support of the Spanish government, over 30 technologies and mechanisms have been pilot-tested and endorsed to local governments for implementation.”

These rights-based and gender-sensitive approaches include financing schemes and climate resilient farming and human settlements models, water customer service codes for communities, establishment of Public Employment Service Office (PESO) in areas where young citizens are unable to access to decent and productive work, and the development of early warning system for food security to help locate food inadequacy and prevent malnutrition, among others.

About the MDG Achievement Fund
The MDG Achievement Fund (MDG-F) is an international cooperation mechanism whose aim is to accelerate progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) worldwide. Established in December 2006 with a generous contribution of €528 million Euros ($US710M) from the Spanish Government to the United Nations system, the MDG-F supports national governments, local authorities and citizen organizations in their efforts to tackle poverty and inequality.

With 128 active programmes in 49 countries spread across 5 regions of the world, MDG-F is helping over 3.5 million people, with another 20 million people impacted indirectly. For more information on the MDG-F, log on to http://www.mdgfund.org/.

To learn more about the work of MDG-F in the Philippines, visit http://ph.one.un.org/mdgfphilippines/index.html