Australian Ambassador visits Marawi tent city
MARAWI CITY – Australian ambassador to the Philippines Amanda Gorely visited the Sarimanok Tent City, Friday, as part of the Australian Government’s support for the Marawi Recovery Project (MRP), announcing that the Government will increase their support to PHP975 million (AUD 25 million) to the Marawi rehabilitation efforts.
The Community and Family Services International (CFSI) organized a ceremonial livelihood assistance handover to their beneficiaries in Sarimanok Tent City on Friday which was graced by Gorely.
Gorely, in the program, handed over a refrigerator, coconut grater, sewing machine, four motorcycles, and two motorcycle sidecars to CFSI MRP’s beneficiaries.
After the handover, Gorely had a focused group discussion with some beneficiaries of the site and observed the psychosocial activities in the child-friendly space (CFS) in the area.
Task Force Bangon Marawi Field Manager Felix Castro Jr. expressed that Australian had always been supporting Marawi and the rehabilitation efforts in the City.
“One thing you should know is that the Australian Government is thinking of the recovery of the people of Marawi, even during the crisis,” said Dr. Steven Muncy, CFSI executive director, adding that the Country had responded immediately to the event.
In her speech, Gorely said that she had wanted to visit Marawi before going back to Australia and had strongly requested to go to the City.
“We recognize the need to provide immediate solutions on longer terms to keep people safe and provide the opportunities to disengaged families to recover their economic independence,” Gorely said.
She also commended the resilience of the evacuees of the siege and the MRP’s efforts in providing psychosocial support and protection activities to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) for them to access government services and obtain birth certificates.
Furthermore, Gorely announced that Australia has increased its total support to PHP975 million (AUD 25 million for the “long term peace and stability in the southern Philippines,” according to the media statement released by the Australian Embassy.
It was also announced that Australia is going to fund school feeding for 50,000 children and food assistance for families displaced from Marawi, education and child protection activities to support children affected by the conflict; and Technical assistance to Task Force Bangon Marawi for recovery and reconstruction efforts.
CFSI is the grant manager of the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s PHP 97.5 million (AUD 2.5 million) support for MRP, with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as a sub-grantee.
As of October 26, CFSI is supporting 134 families in the Sarimanok Tent City and has already distributed 100 livelihood support while 34 more are about to be given. About 439 individuals are also assisted to be issued with certificates of live birth.
Aside from the Sarimanok Tent City, MRP is also proving protection, livelihood, psychosocial support to evacuation, transitory and Kambalingan sites in Barangays Bito Buadi Itowa, Buadi Sacayo, Sagonsongan, Papandayan, and Guimba.
As of press time, CFSI has already identified 521 beneficiaries and has been able to distribute 299 livelihood support, while 222 are still coming.
MRP aims to promote protection, and the psychosocial and economic recovery of at least 4,000 households (20,000 persons) displaced by the Marawi Crisis. Part of CFSI’s economic recovery efforts are the livelihood support given to the most vulnerable and persons with special needs.