MANILA, Philippines – The United States announced it is donating P730 million ($15 million) to help rebuild the southern Philippine city of Marawi, the site of months-long clashes between Philippine troops and terrorists linked to the Islamic State (ISIS).
US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim made this announcement in a roundtable discussion with select journalists on Tuesday, September 5, as the Marawi clashes are on their 4th month.
In his opening statement, Kim described the Marawi conflict as "the most urgent challenge" facing the 71-year-old ties between Manila and Washington.
He also offered his condolences for soldiers and civilians who have died "during this terrible conflict."
"We all look forward to the end of the crisis, and the end of the fighting and suffering. We have been and will continue to support the Philippine government's efforts to deal with the crisis," Kim said.
He explained that the US will donate more than P730 million through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the American agency in charge of foreign aid.
Below is the breakdown of the P730-million US assistance:
This donation comes even as Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte slams the US for supposedly interfering in his bloody war on drugs.
The Philippine military earlier said the US is providing "technical assistance" to government troops battling the ISIS-linked Maute Group in Marawi City.
In reaction, Duterte said in June, "Nagpapasalamat na rin ako. Nandiyan na 'yan." (I have to be thankful. It's already there.) – Rappler.com
P51.12 = $1
Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.