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Australia announces P140-M add’l aid for Marawi

THE AUSTRALIAN Embassy in Manila on Tuesday announced an additional PHP140 million humanitarian assistance to support the people affected by the 2017 Marawi conflict.

“My announcement reflects Australia’s commitment to the recovery and reconstruction of Marawi City,” Australian Ambassador Steven J. Robinson AO said in a statement.

“We will continue to support the Philippine government and the people of Marawi as they work to rebuild their lives and their city,” he added.

The additional funding, which brings to AUD30 million or PHP1.2 billion the total assistance of Australia to Marawi, will be used to support displaced families in rebuilding their lives through counseling, securing civil birth certificates and other proofs of identity, and providing items such as tricycles, sewing machines, and refrigerators to start small businesses.

Robinson made the announcement during the signing of a memorandum of partnership between the Australian Embassy and the Community and Family Services International (CFSI), which manages and implements the Marawi Recovery Project.

According to the Embassy, the Marawi Recovery Project will benefit 6,500 displaced families in the city and the municipalities of Butig, Ditsaan-Ramain, Lumbayanague, Marantao, Masiu and Piagapo in Lanao del Sur; and Iligan City and the municipality of Munai in Lanao del Norte.

The Australian program is implemented in partnership with Marawi City and local government units, Lanao del Sur province, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the Task Force Bangon Marawi.

The assistance is in line with Canberra’s commitment to the development, peace, and stability in the southern Philippines and its partnership with Manila in combatting terrorism in the region.

When the Marawi conflict broke out in 2017, Australia was among the foreign governments that extended technical assistance to the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

It deployed two AP-3C “Orion” aircraft, which were used in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions, helping Filipino forces mop up the terrorists in Marawi City.(By Joyce Ann L. Rocamora)

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