MANILA, Philippines – Australia on Tuesday, August 8, said it is donating nearly P800 million to help rebuild the besieged city of Marawi, on top of P34 million that it earlier gave.
In a media release, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said Australia will give this P799-million (AUD 20 million) donation to the Philippines over a period of 4 years.
Bishop made this announcement on the sidelines of the 50th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meetings hosted by the Philippines.
The announcement came after Bishop met with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, August 7 – their second meeting for the year, which covered the Marawi crisis.
Bishop said: "Australia remains committed to supporting the peace process and development in Muslim Mindanao, which are critical for a strong, stable Philippines, and our assistance will complement the existing programs and priorities of the Philippine government."
The Australian foreign minister said Australia's support will provide child protection and counseling services for around 360,000 Marawi residents forced to flee their homes.
She added that it "will also fund small-scale infrastructure projects for communities around Marawi including provision of clean drinking water and repair of local roads."
Aside from this, Australia "will assist community peace-building efforts and strengthen local capacity to resist and counter extremism."
In June, Bishop already announced that Australia would donate P34.95 million (AUD 920,000) in food and other supplies for more than 320,000 people displaced by ongoing clashes in Marawi City. – Rappler.com
1 AUD = P39.99
Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at email@example.com.