The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Plan International through the Marawi Response Project (MRP) formally handed over certificates of Grant Assistance In-Kind to 25 communities that were affected by the war in Marawi City and 50 Business owned by Marawi IDP’s living temporarily in Iligan City.
Patrick Wesner, Acting Mission Director USAID/ Ph. led the ceremonial turn over together with Butch Ragragio, Chief of Party, USAID’s Marawi Response Project , Atty. Niel Dalumpines, Officer in Charge, Mindanao Development Authority and Assistant Secretary Felix Castro, Task Force Bangon Marawi.
In Iligan City Patrick Wesner also led the ceremonial turn over with Elian Macala President Bangon Marawi Chamber of Commerce.
The certificates were awarded to the first Batch of the MRP grant program to seven (7) Community services including lighting, water, sanitation services , solid waste , organized by the youth, eight (8) micro manufacturing , in dressmaking and bakery, six ( 6) functional literacy projects, four (4) commercial service and agricultural support for a total of 25 awardees to the Community Solidarity Groups in Marawi City.
In Iligan City, grants in kind were also awarded to 50 business owned by Marawi IDP’s such as businesses in textile, RTW (Ready-to-Wear) clothing retail, grocery and bakery.
Butch Ragragio , said that the project are being identified with the help of of the Barangay Captains, the Maranao People Development Center (MARADECA) which is based in Marantao, represented by Faridah Salic and Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits, Inc.( EcoWEB) with Nanette Antiquiza, EcoWEB Executive Director.
Patrick Wesner Acting Mission Director USAID/ Ph, in his message reiterated what US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim said when he last visited Marawi City last October 2018 when the MRP program was first Launched at Ami Pakpak Central Elementary School , said that the US government is in close partnership with the Philippine government and remains a committed friend, a partner and allies in supporting the journey to recovery.
Patrick Wesner continued. “The challenges are not easy and by working together as a community you are becoming the challenges”
In Recall, US Ambassador Sung Kim visited Marawi City on the eve of the 1st anniversary of Marawi’s Liberation from ISIS- inpired terrorist that held a part of Marawi City and neighboring Barangay’s captive for several months.
During his visit in Marawi Kim announced that the US government through the USAID committed nearly Php3.2 billion for humanitarian and recovery work in and around Marawi and had launched the “Marawi Response Project.”
The Marawi Response Project fosters sustainable solutions for IDP’s that were affected during the May 2017 conflict between armed groups and the government forces and host communities by empowering them to engage in recovery efforts as active contributors to the social and economic development of their community.
Abul-Khayr an awardee of the Business recovery grant of Grocery Business who once lived at the Most Affected Area (Known to be ground Zero) expressed his gratitude to the MRP grant project under the USAID and Plan International . “ I am already excited to start my grocery business , it has been two years since the Marawi siege when i lost everything including my merchandise store.” Said Khayr.
“The grant in kind will be of great help in restoring our livelihood and will improve our condition.” Abdul Khayr added. (Irma Boza/now-pinay)