CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: The Australian government is providing an additional PHP106-million as Covid-19 response and support to affected families in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.
In a statement Tuesday, Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Steven J. Robinson said the assistance is part of his country’s support for the development, peace, and stability in Mindanao for over 20 years.
“Our commitment to the people and the recovery of Marawi is steadfast, and this new project will assist the most vulnerable people in Mindanao who have been severely affected by prolonged displacement and by the socio-economic impacts of the pandemic,” Robinson said.
The aid would mainly benefit Marawi families affected by the 2017 siege, as well as locally-stranded individuals.
The money would also be spent for the Marawi Covid Recovery Project (MCRP) that would help at least 4,000 families or around 20,000 people cushion the impact of armed conflict, protracted displacement, and Covid-19.
Robinson said under its Partnerships for Recovery program, Australia has redirected its development cooperation to reinforce the Philippine response to the pandemic.
“Our partnership with CFSI (Community and Family Services International) will support families to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 and help foster inclusive and cohesive communities in the spirit of mateship and bayanihan,” he said.
Meanwhile, CFSI Executive Director Steven Muncy said the MCRP would be implemented by CFSI over 30 months from January 2021 through June 2023 in Marawi City and six other municipalities in Lanao del Sur.
“Through this project, we will contribute to improving the conditions for peace and stability in the conflict-affected areas of Mindanao,” Muncy said.
Assistant Secretary Felix Castro Jr., Field Manager of the Task Force Bangon Marawi, welcomed Australia’s new round of assistance.
“This project, which builds on a previous partnership between the government, Australia and CFSI, will provide critical support to vulnerable families and help them recover from the multiple challenges of displacement which has been exacerbated by the pandemic,” Castro said.
Marawi Mayor Majul Gandamra said he hopes the project would help more displaced families in the city.
(Nef Luczon and Riz Sunio/PNA/SRNY/RSP)