MANILA — The United States government on Thursday announced an additional PHP234 million in humanitarian assistance to the ongoing relief and recovery efforts in Marawi City, almost two years after the conflict erupted in the city in 2017.
“The US government remains committed to supporting the Philippine government in helping restore normalcy in the lives of the Filipinos affected by the Marawi conflict,” said US Ambassador Sung Kim in a statement.
“This new assistance reflects the strong bond between the U.S. and the Philippines as friends, partners, and allies,” he added.
According to the US Embassy in Manila, this fresh funding by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) brings to more than PHP3.4 billion the total contribution of Washington to the Marawi recovery and is seen to help approximately 50,000 internally displaced persons in Marawi and 9,000 in Maguindanao.
Part of the amount will be used to provide 2,600 individuals with emergency shelter assistance, in addition to the nearly 33,000 individuals who have previously benefitted.
USAID will also deepen its existing efforts within Marawi City and Lanao del Sur province to expand water and sanitation services and enhance safe spaces to protect women and children from exploitation and violence.
The Embassy said the new funds will augment ongoing US government support to the Philippine government in providing life-saving aid and improving economic and social conditions for vulnerable populations.
Since the early stages of the conflict, US has worked to improve conditions in evacuation centers and host communities while providing essential maternal, newborn, and child health supplies, as well as related training for affected populations.
In recent months, it provided livelihood support to nearly 7,500 displaced households, daily water delivery to more than 6,000 internally displaced persons, and hygiene kits and education for more than 30,000 people.
To advance peace in Mindanao, the Embassy said it is also assisting the youth to enhance their job skills and attain livelihoods, promoting positive engagement among communities. Its six-year PHP823-million Mindanao Youth Development (MYDev) program have in fact entered its last leg this 2019, which already benefitted around 25,719 as of April 2019. Joyce Ann L. Rocamora / PNA – northboundasia.com