THE United States government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), has provided an additional P73 million ($1.5 million) in food assistance to support displaced families in Lanao del Sur. This brings the total U.S. commitment to humanitarian and recovery work in and around Marawi to more than P3.1 billion ($65.1 million).
With this funding, USAID is providing food aid to more than 8,000 highly vulnerable persons to help meet their essential nutritional needs. Families will receive electronic cash transfers that enable them to purchase food in local markets. This assistance has been complemented by a messaging campaign promoting safe hygiene practices to equip communities with the knowledge and skills they need to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has stripped many households of vital sources of income and made those displaced by conflict especially vulnerable,” U.S. Embassy Chargé d’Affaires John Law said. “As friends, partners, and allies, the United States continues to support the people of Marawi to overcome this health crisis and continue on their path to long-term recovery.”
This new food aid builds upon ongoing USAID assistance that supports 3,700 displaced families and improves nutrition for 5,000 children and 6,000 pregnant women and lactating mothers.
The assistance also complements USAID’s work with Lanao communities under its Marawi Response Project (MRP). As of July 2020, MRP has provided micro-grants to more than 1,000 displaced entrepreneurs, as well as communities, to revive their economic livelihoods and create jobs. MRP social cohesion micro-grants, which include small-scale infrastructure support, have benefited more than 14,000 displaced persons and host families. To address COVID-19, MRP is providing training, protective gear, and disinfectants to more than 3,300 public health workers. Also, USAID-supported handwashing, sanitation, and information support has reached almost 185,000 citizens in Lanao.