RP, UN Launch Project vs Illegal Immigration

Article excerpt

MANILA (AFP) -- The Philippine government and a United Nations agency launched yesterday a joint project to combat organized crime groups smuggling illegal immigrants, a foreign office statement said.

The project, with $200,000 funding from the US government, will focus on supporting a national coordinating mechanism, improving data bases and "strengthening cooperation between law enforcement agencies and prosecution."

It will also involve training and awareness-raising programs and will be implemented over six months in coordination with the Philippine foreign office, the statement said.

Similar projects are also scheduled to be launched in Eastern Europe, Western Africa, and South America, it added.

The project document was signed by the Philippine Ambassador to the UN in Vienna Victor Garcia and the UN Center for International Crime Prevention Director Jan van Dijk.

The Vienna-based UN agency is the global body's office responsible for helping to curb transnational organized crime, corruption and people smuggling.

WB loans

MANILA (AFP) - The Philippines will receive as much as $400 million in loans from the World Bank in 2001 and 2002 for seven new projects, the government and the bank said.

Economic Planning Secretary Felipe Medalla and World Bank Country Manager Vinay Bhargava said $60 million was earmarked for an urban transportation project in Metropolitan Manila, another $60 million for a water supply project and $3. …