By ROCAYA SUMNDAD OTICAL YAHYA
MARAWI CITY: The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) has turned over the first batch of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and disinfectant supplies to the City Government of Marawi as it officially launched here on Monday “Covid-19 Response As We Rebuild Marawi,” a project financed by UN-Habitat’s Global Emergency Response Fund.
Part of UN-Habitat’s global Covid-19 response initiative, the project aims to help fight the spread of the virus in Marawi City.
UN-Habitat Project Manager Warren Ubongen said, “Marawi City is one of the most vulnerable cities right now because of the disasters that it has experienced. “Two years ago, the Marawi Siege happened and most of its people are still reeling from the devastation and displacement; and now, the Covid-19 pandemic has also hit the city. It is in these dire times that Marawi City is in need of more assistance and UN-Habitat has committed to help Marawi City stand on its own through its strong partnership with the City Government under the leadership of Mayor Majul Gandamra.”
The three-month emergency response project will be implemented in partnership with the City Government of Marawi, Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), and Marawi Sultanate League. It will support 2,500 internally displaced families living in transitional sites in Sagonsongan and Boganga, families in host barangays, local authorities, the Covid-19 Incident Command Center of the LGU Marawi, women, and youth, among others, in the following ways:
• Assist the internally displaced people (IDPs) of Marawi City living in the transitional shelter sites and families in the host barangays in preventing the spread of Covid-19 virus in the community by installing hand-washing facilities, distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and provision of disinfectant supplies;
• Provide easy access to food and basic necessities through the operation of satellite markets and mobile stores;
• Promote small-scale vegetable growing at the household and community levels; and
• Provide capacity development support to the local government of Marawi City through enhancement of its Incident Command System.
The emergency response complements UN-Habitat’s existing project, Rebuilding Marawi through Community-driven Shelter and Livelihood, as it taps the livelihood cooperatives organized by UNHabitat under the project in the operation of the satellite markets and mobile stores.
Mayor Majul U. Gandamra, in project coordination talks, voiced his appreciation of how this Covid-19 response initiative supports the call for minimizing the need of residents to venture out during the current lockdown by addressing food insecurity at the household level through satellite markets and mobile stores. He stressed the need for the project to also focus its intervention on enhancing the capacity of the Incident Command System of the City Government, particularly in responding to pandemics.
TFBM Assistant-Secretary Felix Castro, Jr. sums it all up, “Solidarity is the key to beat the COVID-19 pandemic. The communities, the government, UN agencies, NGOs, and the private sector must work together to prevent transmission. The support of UN-Habitat helps augment the programs of the government, like the mobile store where instead of people going out to buy food, it’s the UN-Habitat through their partner cooperatives that will be coming to barangays to make sure access to food and water are within their reach.”