By Patricia Lourdes Viray
MANILA, Philippines — Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Tuesday announced that their government will provide $20 million worth of assistance over four years to civilians affected by the conflict in Marawi City.
The assistance would also contribute to peace building in the area, according to Australia's top diplomat.
"Yesterday I met with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila, our second meeting for 2017. We discussed the conflict in Marawi and the impact it is having on civilians in the region," Bishop said in a media release.
Bishop added that the $20-million assistance would be in addition to the emergency food and other supplies worth $920,000 that she announced last June 20.
Around 360,000 people were forced to flee their homes due to the siege in Marawi City following an attack from ISIS-inspired Maute group.
"Australia’s support will help meet the urgent needs of these displaced people including through child protection and counselling services," Bishop said.
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