MANILA – The U.S. government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has committed approximately Php730 million ($14.3 million) in emergency relief and recovery assistance for communities affected by the ongoing conflict in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur and its surrounding areas, U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim made the announcement today during a media engagement at the U.S. Embassy.
“The United States is deeply committed to this relationship and remains ready to support our friend and ally as we face the challenges and opportunities,” Ambassador Kim said. “We all look forward to the end of the crisis, and the end of the fighting and suffering. We have been and will continue to support the Philippine government’s efforts to deal with the crisis.”
The U.S. government will coordinate with the Philippine government and humanitarian organizations on the ground to deliver critical relief supplies such as safe drinking water, hygiene kits, kitchen sets, and shelter materials that will improve conditions in evacuation centers and other alternative housing.
USAID will also provide 18 facilities in Marawi with critical supplies and services to address tuberculosis and maternal, newborn and child health needs.
In addition to this, USAID will help bolster the early recovery of Marawi by restoring basic public services such as health care, water, and electricity. It will support Marawi’s longer-term stabilization and rehabilitation by jumpstarting livelihoods, promoting community dialogue, rebuilding resilient health systems, and offering skills training and psychosocial counseling for youth.
Last July, the U.S. government provided access to potable water by distributing 12,000 water containers and nearly 100,000 chlorine tablets to 12,000 families staying in evacuation sites in Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, and Iligan City.
The U.S. government has likewise committed to supply 6,500 tablet arm chairs, which will be distributed to schools in Mindanao where displaced Marawi students are currently enrolled.
USAID supports peace and community development in Mindanao through 25 ongoing projects that improve local governance, strengthen the government’s capacity to deliver services, especially in health and education, and promote civic engagement.
Meanwhile, Presidential Spokesperson Ernie Abella welcomed the assistance of the United States to finance emergency relief and recovery efforts for the areas affected by the Marawi rebellion.
“The devastation wrought by the Mautes, inspired by the perverse Daesh doctrine, is extensive. Hence, the recovery and rebuilding of Marawi cannot be done overnight. It is a multi-year rehabilitation effort which requires the full support and cooperation of everyone to help the city rise as a prosperous city again, as promised by the President,” Abella said.
“We look forward to the end of the rebellion and eventually, the chance to bravely face the challenges and opportunities of reconstruction together with our friends and allies here and abroad,” he added. (US Embassy News)