As part of the United States’ commitment of more than $63.6 million or P3.4 billion in humanitarian and recovery assistance to communities displaced by the 2017 siege of Marawi City, the United States Agency for International Development has turned over 80 transitional houses, a climate-resilient public market, and four grants that will provide infrastructure and livelihood support to the communities affected by the siege.
US Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law led the handover ceremonies of the community grants and public market, valued at more than P4 million.
The public market is the first of four trading centers constructed by USAID to facilitate market linkages and help Marawi’s displaced population integrate into communities in Lanao del Sur.
In a statement, the US Embassy in Manila said the USAID was also providing training, equipment, and commodities to entrepreneurs previously trading in Marawi’s so-called “Most Affected Area,” so that they can restart their businesses in their new communities.
To date, 1,800 Maranao people are living in transitional houses provided by the US government.
“The US government remains committed to improving the living, economic, and social conditions for vulnerable populations in Marawi and the surrounding areas,” Law said in a statement.
As part of his visit to the region, Law also addressed the US government-supported 28th Mindanao Business Conference, where he underscored the long-standing partnership between the US and Mindanao.
The event drew about 1,000 Filipino business people and local officials to discuss economic opportunities and policies to boost growth, as well as infrastructure, agriculture, and other key sectors in Mindanao.
The embassy official also toured Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology’s Fab Lab, a venue where science and technology researchers and small and medium enterprises can develop prototypes and products through access to high-tech equipment.
The lab was made possible through donations from multiple donors, including the US Department of State.