National Economic and Development Authority Davao (NEDA-Davao) Assistant Regional Director Gilberto A. Altura, on behalf of Regional Director Maria Lourdes D. Lim, CESO II, welcomed the multi-functional Teams of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) headed by Atty. Maria Ermina Valdeavilla- Gallardo, Head of the National Office, and Ms. Corazon C. Lagamayo, UNHCR-Project Management Office, Cotabato City on 9 December 2022 at the NEDA-RDC XI, Davao City.
The visit provided opportunity to discuss on the direction of UNHCR in Mindanao by 2023 onwards and efforts to strengthen the collaboration between NEDA XI and UNHCR-Manila in providing protection to persons of concern during emergencies. The UNHCR is closing its office in Mindanao starting 2023.
The UNHCR staff presented the action plan for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), UNHCR Protection Activities in Mindanao, Durable Solutions initiatives, and Protection Strategy for Mindanao. Some statistics on IDPs in Davao Region were shared by the Team.
ARD Altura expressed that the Davao Regional Development Plan 2023-2028, specifically Sub-Chapter 6.2, Strengthen Social Protection: Reduce Vulnerabilities and Protect Purchasing Power includes strategies to address IDPs and their communities.
Atty. Gallardo thanked NEDA XI for supporting UNHCR activities in the region. The UNHCR is the UN Refugee Agency mandated to protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless persons.
Lalaine M. Sajelan, NEDA XI