By Francis Wakefield
Various international organizations and Civil Society Organizations participated in the Peace Caravan as part of the recently concluded “Duyog Ramadhan, Alang sa Kalinaw,” a 10-day activity organized by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) in Marawi City from June 6 to 15.
The Government of Australia, and the World Food Programme (WFP) contributed sacks of rice for the Convergence Peace Caravan by OPAPP in eight barangays across Lanao Del Sur while the Indonesian Embassy donated grocery items for displaced residents.
Also during the caravan, the Community and Family Services International (CFSI), Mindanao Organization for Social and Economic Progress (MOSEP), and World Health Organization (WHO) delivered psychosocial interventions to women and the youth.
For its part, the Initiative for Dialogue and Empowerment through Alternative Legal Services Inc. (IDEALS), which is funded by Embassy of the Netherlands, provided legal guidance and assisted residents how to file legal documents such as birth certificates and Barangay IDs.
Volunteers from The Asia Foundation (TAF) and United Youth Peace and Development on the other hand helped OPAPP and the Armed Forces of the Philippines distribute the sacks of rice.
Representatives from International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and United Nations High Commissioner Refugees (UNHCR) joined the Eid’l Fitr program at the Bahay Pag-asa camp, where they received a warm welcome from the community.
The groups gave assurance that their participation does not end with the closing of Duyog Ramadhan on June 15.
“We will be working with the government to provide long-term development for Marawi,” said Winston Camarinas, UNDP emergency response coordinator .
Camarinas said he also sees the form of assistance to transition from humanitarian to development in a short period of time.
“Technically, we are already crossing that (development phase), hopefully, we will have a role on it,” he said.
The Duyog Ramadhan, Alang sa Kalinaw is a 10-day solidarity event that aims to help rebuild the social fabric and foster unity and harmony among the people of Marawi.