By Richmond Mercurio
MANILA, Philippines - Nearly two months since the Duterte administration decided not to accept new funds from the European Union (EU), the European Commission yesterday announced it is providing 850,000 euros or about P49 million in humanitarian aid to the country to support victims of the conflict in Marawi City.
The funding is seen to benefit over 50,000 people affected by the ongoing fighting between the Armed Forces and Islamist militants who have taken over parts of the city.
“The unprecedented violence in Marawi has caused tens of thousands of families to flee, leaving everything behind. This has triggered a sharp increase in humanitarian needs as many of the displaced people are currently deprived of fundamental means to sustain their day-to-day lives,” said Pedro-Luis Rojo, head of the East, Southeast Asia and Pacific Regional office for the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO).
“This grant from the EU will support the delivery of immediate life-saving assistance to those most in need and contribute to increased protection of populations affected by the conflict,” he added.
The EU funding, which will be channeled through the Commission’s ECHO, will focus on the provision of crucial support including food, water supply, healthcare, hygiene kits, sanitation facilities and essential household items as well as ensuring improved protection for those of concern.
Local business chambers led by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry are also donating P1.65 million in cash in addition to relief goods for Marawi city evacuees.
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