Thursday 10 August 2017

Australia pledges P798.5 million for Marawi rehab

Aussies did it again.

Australia announced that it will commit A$20 million or  nearly P800 million worth of assistance for the rehabilitation Marawi City over the next four years.
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and President Rodrigo Roa Duterte during the former's courtesy call at MalacaƱan Palace last August 7, 2017.(photo credit to Philstar)

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, one of the attendees  in the 24th ASEAN Regional Forum this week  said the aid will be for “recovery and long-term peace and stability in the southern Philippines.”

It is intended to “ease civilian suffering” caused by the siege and “contribute to peace-building in the area,” Bishop said in a statement.

"Yesterday I met with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila, our second meeting for 2017. We discussed the conflict in Marawi and the impact it is having on civilians in the region," Bishop said in a media release

Bishop added that the A$20 million is on top of the initial A$920,000 worth of emergency food and other supplies to be  given by the Australian government  to the Philippines which she announced last June.

"Australia’s support will help meet the urgent needs of these displaced people including through child protection and counselling services," Bishop said.

Funding of small-scale infrastructure projects for communities around Marawi,repair of local roads, and a provision for clean drinking water are the intended beneficiary of Australia’s support.

"In addition, the Australian Government will assist community peacebuilding efforts and strengthen local capacity to resist and counter extremism," Bishop said.

Government has estimated 360,000 people were forced to evacuate because of the siege of the ISIS inspired - Maute group in the city.

Australia has also been an active partner of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the battle against the ISIS-inspired militants in Marawi.

"The Australian Government continues to work with the Philippine Government to combat terrorism in the region," Bishop said.

Two AP-3C surveillance aircraft from the Royal Australian Air Force provided support to the AFP in the inch by inch retaking of Marawi City by the members of the Philippine Army and the Philippine National Police.

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