The United States, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), announced it is donating P730 million pesos or about $15 million dollars for the rehabilitation of Marawi City, where war between government troops and local terrorists Maute group entered its fourth month.
US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim made the announcement on Tuesday, saying the foreign aid is intended for the emergency relief operations and recovery measures of the conflict-torn city and surrounding areas.
“And I am pleased to make an announcement today. The United States government through USAID is making available over 730 million pesos that’s approximately 15 million dollars for ongoing emergency relief operations and the longer term recovery and rehabilitation of the Marawi city and surrounding areas,” Kim said.
Kim added that “P153 million pesos in humanitarian assistance through USAID’s office of US foreign disaster assistance is to deliver critical relief supplies such as safe drinking water, hygiene kits, shelter materials for evacuation centers and for programs that protect displaced women and children.”
He said over P577 million pesos is to back the early recovery and rehabilitation of Marawi and the surrounding area.
“This money will focus on restoring basic public services including healthcare, water, and electricity, jumpstarting livelihoods and promoting community reconciliation and alternatives to violent extremism,” the ambassador said.
The donation is an addition to the already provided 12,000 water containers and nearly 100,000 chlorine tables for the evacuated families in the city.
Kim also said counter-terrorism is a ‘shared priority’ of the US and the Philippines. He added that US military cooperation remains as an important component of their assistance.
“We will continue to additional military and nonmilitary ways to support the Philippines counter terrorism efforts and expect to announce more efforts and initiatives in the near feature,” Kim stressed.
He extended his condolences to the soldiers and civilians who have died in the ‘terrible conflict.’
Kim also vowed that the US will continue to help the Philippines in solving what he described as ‘most urgent problem’.
“We have been and we will continue to support the Philippine government’s efforts to deal with the crisis”, he said. “We all look forward to the end of the crisis and the end of the fighting and suffering.”