ADB approves $408-million assistance package for Marawi rehab

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THE Asian Development Bank (ADB) approved on Friday a $408-million financial assistance package for the rehabilitation and rebuilding of Marawi City.

The Emergency Assistance for Reconstruction and Recovery of Marawi package includes a $300-million loan for programs and activities under the government’s Bangon Marawi Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Program which covers local governance and peacebuilding, housing and settlement, business and livelihood, and social services.

Another loan worth $100 million will help the Department of Public Works and Highways in the reconstruction of damaged infrastructure into climate resilient and accessible structures.

ADB will also provide $8-million worth of grants to restore and rehabilitate water supply systems in 19 barangays or villages. A portion of this will be also used for the construction of local health units, procurement of mobile medical clinics, employment and livelihood programs, and primary education in internally displaced people communities.

“In my interaction with residents of Marawi, they expressed their desire for a better future for their children. We hope that through this new ADB loan and grants package, we can help transform Marawi into a thriving economic center in southern Philippines, where people live in peace and prosperity,” ADB Vice-President Stephen Groff was quoted as saying in the statement.

Mr. Groff and some staffers of ADB went to Marawi City last November to meet with the locals and check the situation of the city a year after terrorists attacked it, ADB said.

“With the government’s recovery plan in place, it’s essential that we quickly implement and roll out the programs. It’s important to focus on helping young Maranaos regain a sense of normalcy in a safe learning environment, which they are longing for,” said ADB Country Director for the Philippines Kelly Bird.

ADB’s support to Marawi’s rebuilding is aligned with its new Country Partnership Strategy, under which up to $1 billion in development assistance is set to be prepared from 2018 to 2021 to address poverty and income inequality in Mindanao. — V.A.C. Ferreras