BARMM FOOD SECURITY AND NUTRITION ROADMAP
The Bangsamoro people are at a crossroads faced with both challenges and opportunities. As it had been legally reconstituted with expanded autonomy and resources cascaded from the national government as the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), this pivotal transitional period is crucial in the life of the Bangsamoro people.
For more than four decades, the region had been embroiled in unrest caused by armed clashes. Through it all, it was the poorest of poor that are rendered most vulnerable and impacted. Oftentimes and repeatedly, they have been displaced and stripped off their livelihoods, and their children continue to be disadvantaged in terms of health, nutrition, and education. This whirlwind of unfortunate events has turned into a cycle of intergenerational poverty where poor people remain poor, if not poorer. Added to these are several natural hazards such as typhoons and earthquakes, and slow onset disasters like drought, that exacerbate their condition and reverse the work that the government and humanitarian and development actors have done in the past decades.
In order to act on these challenges, it is important to take stock of the current situation in the region by reviewing the emerging issues it is faced with. The transitional government, along with the ministries involved in improving and managing local governance, agriculture, environment, education, and other related sectors, carry the responsibility of formulating sustainable solutions that will, once and for all, address the region’s decades-long challenges. Thus, a convergence between government agencies makes a world of difference in effecting real change in BARMM.
As a first step, it is imperative to acknowledge and accept that food security and nutrition is the cornerstone of healthy, happy, and prosperous people. When food systems are stable and nutritious food are accessible and affordable, the rest will follow. Hence, the need for a strong policy to champion this. This is where the Food Security and Nutrition Roadmap comes in. This body of work is the foundation that will connect the dots into lines; and transform plans to actions.