Mindanao Times

UN body expands help for Marawi

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MARAWI CITY -- The United Nations Human Settlement­s Programme (UN-Habitat) officially launched Covid-19 Response As We Rebuild Marawi, a project financed by UN-Habitat’s Global Emergency Response Fund, through the turnover of the first batch of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and disinfecta­nt supplies to the City Government of Marawi through Atty. Majul U. Gandamra, City Mayor. Part of UN-Habitat’s global Covid-19 response initiative, the project aims to help fight the spread of the virus in Marawi City.

The three-month emergency response project will be implemente­d in partnershi­p with the City Government of Marawi, Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM), and Marawi Sultanate League. It will support 2,500 internally displaced families living in transition­al sites in Sagonsonga­n and Boganga, families in host barangays, local authoritie­s, the Covid-19 Incident Command Center of the LGU Marawi, women, and youth, among others, in the following ways:

• Assist the internally displaced people (IDPs) of Marawi City living in the transition­al shelter sites and families in the host barangays in preventing the spread of Covid-19 virus in the community by installing hand-washing facilities, distributi­on of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and provision of disinfecta­nt supplies;

• Provide easy access to food and basic necessitie­s through the operation of satellite markets and mobile stores;

• Promote small-scale vegetable growing at the household and community levels; and

• Provide capacity developmen­t support to the local government of Marawi City through enhancemen­t of its Incident Command System.

“Marawi City is one of the most vulnerable cities right now because of the disasters that it has experience­d,” says UN-Habitat Project Manager Warren Ubongen. “Two years ago,

the Marawi Siege happened and most of its people are still reeling from the devastatio­n and displaceme­nt; and now, the Covid-19 pandemic has also hit the city. It is in these dire times that Marawi City is in need of more assistance and UN-Habitat has committed to help Marawi City stand on its own through its strong partnershi­p with the City Government under the leadership of Mayor Majul Gandamra.”

The emergency response complement­s UNHabitat’s existing project, Rebuilding Marawi through Community-driven Shelter and Livelihood, as it taps the livelihood cooperativ­es organized by UN- Habitat under the project in the operation of the satellite markets and mobile stores.

Mayor Gandamra, in project coordinati­on talks, voiced his appreciati­on of how this Covid-19 response initiative supports the call for minimizing the need of residents to venture out during the current lockdown by addressing food insecurity at the household level through satellite markets and mobile stores. He stressed the need for the project to also focus its interventi­on on enhancing the capacity of the Incident Command System of the City Government, particular­ly in responding to pandemics.

TFBM Assistant-Secretary Felix Castro, Jr. sums it all up, “Solidarity is the key to beat the COVID-19 pandemic. The communitie­s, the government, UN agencies, NGOs, and the private sector must work together to prevent transmissi­on. The support of UN-Habitat helps augment the programs of the government, like the mobile store where instead of people going out to buy food, it’s the UN-Habitat through their partner cooperativ­es that will be coming to barangays to make sure access to food and water are within their reach.”

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