Manila, Philippines – The United States will pour in an additional P1.35 billion in aid over the next three years for the rehabilitation of communities directly affected by the Marawi siege.
US ambassador Sung Kim announced the US Agency for International Development’s “Marawi Response Project”, which is designed to improve the economic and social conditions of residents in the area.
“The US government shares the concern of the Philippine government for ongoing economic, social, health, and education needs of the people of Marawi and neighboring municipalities,” Kim said at a news conference.
Kim was in the city on the eve of the anniversary of Marawi’s liberation from ISIS-inspired terrorists that held a good part of Marawi hostage for several months last year.
“As the situation evolves, so does the nature of our response to the crisis,” Kim said.
Bandits took control of Marawi’s vital installations in May and clashes erupted in the city. The government to eventually responded with aerial bombings that severely damaged the city.
The siege caused thousands to flee their homes and damage worth billions of pesos.
Bandit leaders Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute were killed in the military attacks.
On October 17, 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte announced that Marawi had been liberated from the terrorists.
The Marawi Response Project will bring the total USAID funding commitment to the Marawi response to nearly Php3.2 billion.
According to the US embassy, the Marawi Response Project “will help build the foundation for the longer-term recovery of displaced communities.”
Kim announced the project on his visit to Marawi City, where he met with Lanao del Sur Governor Bedjoria Soraya Alonto Adiong, Vice Governor Mamintal Alonto Adiong, Jr., Marawi Mayor Majul Gandamra, and Brig. Gen. Ramiro Rey, Commander of Joint Task Force Ranao.
He also laid a wreath at a memorial in Camp Ranao for soldiers killed in action during the Marawi Siege.
Kim also announced the launch of the Empowering Madrasa Educator 2 program, valued at P12.7 million.
This second iteration of the US Embassy’s Empowering Madrasa Educator program will provide intensive long-term training to 175 madrasa educators and 25 madrasa administrators from Marawi, Lanao del Sur, and other Mindanao communities.