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US pledges another P182-M help for Marawi

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Temporary housing units for Marawi evacuees under construction in this December 2017 photo — PHILSTAR/BOY SANTOS

THE UNITED States government has pledged another P182-million ($3.5 million) worth of assistance for the 58,000 internally displaced residents of Marawi City and surrounding areas, US ambassador Sung Y. Kim announced on Thursday. “Together with our partners on the ground, we will build transitional shelters, repair water and sanitation facilities, provide psycho-social support, establish safe spaces to protect women and children from exploitation and violence, and hopefully in the process also help jump-start the local economy through income generating activities,” he said during a media forum at the US Embassy in Manila. The additional pledge raised the US’ contributions to the humanitarian response up to nearly P1.4 billion or $26.4 million dollars. He said both US and Filipino experts believe the terrorism threat in Mindanao remains as the start of the five-month Marawi siege nears its first anniversary on May 23. The two countries are set to hold the annual Balikatan military exercises next week. — Camille A. Aguinaldo

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