And now the Americans are following Australia’s gesture.
A month after Australia made public that they are pledging P798.5 million for the rehabilitation of Marawi City, The United States of America has also pledged support for the quick recovery and rehabilitation of the City. The US a longtime ally of the country has committed P730 million, or over $14 million through the US Agency for International Development (USAID).
Philstar columnist and newly appointed Philippine ambassador to the United States of America Mr. Babe Romualdez in his Philippine Star (9/7/17) column lays down America’s pledge to help the country in the rebuilding efforts in Marawi City that was brought about by the ISIS inspired Maute group.
|United States of America Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim (photo credit to owner)|
The article is quoted below:
Three months after fighting broke out in Marawi City following the attack by an extremist terrorist group, government troops seem to be finally gaining the upper hand with the takeover of a strategic bridge and the battle contained within a 500-square meter area. Focus is now on recovery and rehabilitation, with displaced residents (78,466 families, according to estimates by the Department of Social Welfare and Development) taking small steps to return to their “normal lives” as seen, for instance, in the reopening of 12 public elementary schools the other day. A contingent of over 100 all-female police and military personnel is also being deployed to help in the rehabilitation of the capital of Lanao del Sur.
The rehabilitation of Marawi will definitely require massive effort and funding, with Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana estimating at least P50 billion will be needed to “cover everything” from roads to bridges, as well as public and private structures. According to Socioeconomic Planning Secretary and National Economic and Development Authority chief Ernie Pernia, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank will be “lead coordinators” for foreign donors who will help in the rehabilitation efforts.
Foreign governments have also pledged their support, among them the country’s longtime ally the United States, which has committed P730 million, or over $14 million through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) in emergency relief and recovery assistance for the affected communities. *
Reiterating his country’s continued support for the Philippine government’s efforts to deal with the crisis in Marawi City, US Ambassador Sung Kim said, “The United States is deeply committed to this relationship and remains ready to support our friend and ally as we face the challenges and opportunities,” adding that everyone is looking forward to the end of the crisis and the end of the fighting and suffering.
The US will coordinate with the government and humanitarian organizations in delivering critical relief supplies for the displaced residents such as safe drinking water, hygiene kits, shelter materials and even kitchen sets to help improve conditions in evacuation centers and other temporary housing. Earlier in July, the US distributed 12,000 water containers and 100,000 chlorine tablets for the 12,000 families staying in evacuation sites located in Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur and Iligan City.
As usual in cramped quarters, all kinds of diseases could quickly spread, with babies and young children among the most vulnerable, which is why the USAID is also providing 18 facilities that would help address health issues such as tuberculosis, as well as maternal, newborn and child health needs. Aside from helping restore basic public services such as healthcare, water and electricity, the US is focused on long-term rehabilitation and recovery efforts by providing psychosocial counseling and offering skills training for young people, promoting community dialogue and jumpstarting livelihoods. *