US vows P730M for Marawi rehabilitation

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The United States will donate P730 million for emergency relief operations and rehabilitation of Marawi City.
The donation will be coursed through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim said.

“And of course, all of this work is done in close coordination with our colleagues in the Philippine government. Our military cooperation remains an important component of our assistance,” he said during a roundtable discussion.

This general view shows destroyed buildings as seen from a government position on the frontline in Marawi. AFP Photo

In June, Washington vowed to provide more military assistance with Manila announcing it would welcome any form of assistance from allied countries.

The American government gave two Cessna C-208B planes to the Philippine Air Force in July.

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Kim said the US is “deeply committed” to its partnership and would readily support its allies facing challenges. He noted that the crisis in Marawi City is “the most urgent challenge” facing the Philippines.

Of the P730 million, P153 million will be used to purchase water, hygiene kits, shelter materials for evacuation centers and programs protecting displaced women and children while P577 million will support the rehabilitation programs for Marawi City and surrounding areas, including restoring public services such as health care, water and electricity.

In May, the U.S. Armed Forces and AFP conducted its Balikatan (shoulder-to-shoulder) exercises in different provinces mostly in Northern Luzon. The joint military drills focused on the humanitarian assistance and disaster response and counter-terrorism.

Kim said fighting terrorism should be a shared responsibility between the Philippines and the US.

“We will continue to look for additional military and non-military ways to support the Philippine’s counter-terrorism efforts, and I expect to announce more measures and initiatives in the near future,” he said.

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