The US Embassy Manila’s United States Agency for International Development (USAid) launched a 17-month project that will empower 10,000 people in the province of Iloilo through entrepreneurship.
The project, implemented in partnership with International Care Ministries (ICM), will deliver an intensive 16-week training program to Iloilo’s poorest households, improving access to health, providing opportunities for entrepreneurship, and bolstering families with basic resources to stabilize their lives.
USAid Philippines Acting Chief for the Office of Economic Development and Governance Dr. Stephen Andoseh, and ICM Chair of the Board of Directors David Sutherland, together with representatives from Iloilo local government units, participated in the launching ceremony in Iloilo City.
“It is our hope that through our partnership with International Care Ministries, we can help build the entrepreneurial skills of the marginalized communities of Iloilo,” Dr. Andoseh said. “This work is consistent with the United States government’s Partnership for Growth, a bilateral engagement that sharpens the focus of our assistance to propel inclusive economic growth in priority countries like the Philippines,” he concluded.
ICM has been working in the Philippines since 1992 with a focus on helping Filipinos who live on less than 50 US cents per day (approximately P23) lift themselves out of poverty. In the last few years, ICM has achieved a 95 percent increase in household income of participants, in addition to significant improvements in health and well-being. In Iloilo, USAid and ICM will assemble community groups in nearly 90 geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas. These groups provide a safe environment for individuals to establish micro-entrepreneurships while improving their health and literacy.
The project is aligned with USAid’s commitment to eradicating extreme poverty under its Cities Development Initiative, which promotes inclusive and sustained economic growth in second-tier cities, including Iloilo, in the Philippines.