US earmarks USD6.6-M add’l aid for Marawi

MANILA -- The United States Embassy to Manila on Tuesday announced that the US government would be allocating another USD6.6 million in addition to their assistance worth USD14 million to war-ravaged Marawi City.

"We'll continue to do a lot of work here and I should mention that in the Marawi context, as you know, we recently announced that we have allocated USD14 million to help with the Marawi situation," US Ambassador Sung Kim said on a television interview.

As per the envoy, the first allocation was not only directed towards immediate needs but also to programs to help in longer-term rehabilitation.

Meanwhile, he said the additional USD6.6 million, which would bring the total US Agency for International Development (USAID) assistance to over USD20 million, was to help the most vulnerable population in Marawi."

"We are talking about children and the elderly," he said.

Kim stressed that the US government would like to expand programs focusing on vocational training and other education-related programs.

"We are already up to USD20 million over PHP1 billion and we are hoping to do more," he said.

Washington, through USAID, has been a key partner of the Philippine government in the recovery, stabilization, and rehabilitation of Marawi City and its surrounding areas.

USAID's early assistance involved restoring access to water and distributing desks for schools, where displaced students were enrolled.

To bolster the recovery, the embassy mentioned the USAID would further help restore public services, like water and electricity, and would work with communities to jumpstart livelihoods, promote community dialogue, and improve health and education systems.

"To help fortify the area's longer-term stabilization and rehabilitation, USAID will offer skills training and psychosocial counseling for youth, and promote community alternatives to violent extremism," the US embassy said in a statement.

Source: Philippine News Agency