US offering "over P730 million" for relief, rehab of Marawi
The United States government is offering over 730 million pesos worth of assistance for the relief, recovery and rehabilitation of Marawi City.
"The United States government through USAID is making available over 730 million pesos (approximately $15 million) for ongoing emergency relief operations and the longer term recovery and rehabilitation of Marawi city and the surrounding area," US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim said Tuesday.
Kim said 153 million pesos will be used for "humanitarian assistance through USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance to deliver critical relief supplies such as safe drinking water, hygiene kits, shelter materials for evacuation centers, and for programs to protect displaced women and children." While "over 577 million pesos (will be used) to support the early recovery, stabilization and rehabilitation of Marawi and the surrounding area.
"This money will focus on restoring basic public services, including health care, water, and electricity, jump starting livelihoods, and promoting community reconciliation and alternatives to violent extremism," he said.
"This is in addition to assistance already provided by USAID, including 12,000 water containers and nearly 100,000 chlorine tablets to help bring safe drinking water to families in evacuation centers; as well as 6,500 desks for temporary schools and psycho-social support for affected teachers and students," he added.
Kim noted that their "Public Affairs Section will also be providing 22 million pesos for educational and informational programs that bring together students and women leaders to explore innovative ways to address the challenges facing Marawi residents."
"I should note that these efforts are just the latest installment of US government non-military assistance that totals 65 billion pesos in the past six years. And of course all of this work is done in close coordination with our colleagues in the Philippine government," he said.
"Our military cooperation remains an important component of our assistance. From providing ISR (Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) support through a variety of manned and unmanned systems, to sharing intelligence and information and offering technical advice, our military is working closely with the Armed Forces of the Philippines," he added.
It can be recalled that just recently the US also provided "two sophisticated Cessna C-208 ISR aircraft worth 1.5 billion pesos, and valuable training programs including countering IED’s, maritime interdiction, and marksmanship" for the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
"We look forward to providing additional ISR support, through technologically advanced platforms that will help the AFP both in Marawi and anywhere else terrorists may strike," Kim said.
"Counter-terrorism is a shared priority for both of our countries, and important for regional stability. We will continue to look for additional military and non-military ways to support the Philippine’s counter-terrorism efforts, and I expect to announce more measures and initiatives in the near future," he added.
Kim also expressed condolences to the victims the families of soldiers and civilians who died because of the ongoing armed conflict in Marawi City.
"The most urgent challenge is the conflict in Marawi. Let me first offer my condolences for the loss of life, both military and civilian, during this terrible conflict. We all look forward to the end of the crisis, and the end of the fighting and suffering. Robina Asido/DMS