Dr Mohammad Hassan Salem, IDB's head of special assistance, said the grant will be allocated to fund three major social services in the region -- education, health and infrastructure.
He said the assistance is part of the commitment of the 56-member countries, which constituted the Organization of Islamic Conference, to foster the economic development and social progress since the creation of the ARMM following the 1996 peace agreement between the Moro National Liberation Front and the Philippine government.
"The IDB is required to establish and operate special funds for specific purposes including a fund for assistance to Muslim communities in non-member countries such as the
He added the bulk of the bank's special assistance program will be allocated in the provinces of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Jolo and Tawi-Tawi in the Sulu Archipelago.
The project will be focusing more in upgrading Muslim schools and scholarship programs for Muslim students not only in ARMM but other Muslim-dominated areas in the country.
He said the project, which is now being formulated by the national and the autonomous education departments, and the Council of Ulama is expected to teach Muslim students on basic Arabic language, values of Islam, and bilingual education.
To improve health condition in the Muslim region,
The special fund will also use to purchase medicines to be delivered in far-flung areas of the region, and the construction of municipal health stations to some towns where there is no existing health centers.
For infrastructure, the IDB will also use about 40% of the funds to construct bridges, farm-to-market roads, and seaports. He said IDB allocated $1.5 million to provide major improvements and expansion in water delivery service, particularly to those in the islands.
"Infrastructure is very crucial not only for the development of the Autonomous region's local economy but also for social progress," he said.
The autonomous region has been the center stage of the conflict in