THE ASIAN Development Bank (ADB) said it is preparing a $400-million emergency assistance loan to support Marawi City’s rehabilitation.
“ADB is committed to helping rebuild the city of Marawi into a thriving economic center where people live in peace and prosperity. We are preparing a comprehensive assistance package that seeks to help ease the adverse social impact of the armed conflict on the city and its residents,” ADB Vice-President Stephen P. Groff was quoted in a statement as saying.
The ADB said that it expects the loan package to be approved by its Board of Directors in “early December.” It said that the assistance “seeks to help provide flexible and immediate financing for the city’s rebuilding and rehabilitation, including the improvement of the city’s connectivity through better public infrastructure.”
“ADB is preparing to help restore water utilities and health infrastructure, improve the delivery of social services, and provide livelihoods to affected residents of Marawi in Lanao del Sur province. Lanao del Sur is the poorest province in the country, with nearly three-fourths of its population living below the poverty line,” the ADB said.
Mr. Groff, ADB Country Director for the Philippines Kelly Bird, ADB Director for Transport and Communications Hiroaki Yamaguchi, and other ADB staff, visited Marawi on Nov. 13 to consult with Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) Field Office Manager and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council Assistant Secretary Felix J. Castro , Jr., Marawi City Mayor Majul U. Gandamra, and Lanao del Sur provincial administrator Juraira M. Alonto, among others.
Aside from the ADB, the Department of Finance (DoF) said that it will tap funds from the Bangon Marawi Comprehensive Rehabilitation and Recovery Program (BMCRRP) worth $200 million, a $241 million retail bond float, and a 2 billion yen grant from the Japanese government.
The DoF plans to hold a pledging session with development partners this month. The United States, Spain, Australia, and the World Bank have expressed interest in providing financing support. — Elijah Joseph C. Tubayan