By Bonita Ermac
ILIGAN CITY – The United States government has awarded six micro-grants to communities in Marawi City for displaced residents and host families so that they can support the education of their learners affected by the siege in the city in 2017.
Mindanao Authority chairman Emmanuel Piñol joined US Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of Economic Development and Governance Chief Jeffrey Lehrer at the handover ceremony of the grants on Wednesday here.
Each micro-grant was valued at $5,000 (P260,000), and will support community learning facilities, including training spaces and day care centers.
The micro-grants are part of USAID’s three-year P1. 35-billion ($25 million) Marawi Response Project (MRP) which supports the economic recovery and social cohesion of displaced and host communities in Marawi, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte and Iligan City.
Launched in 2018, the project is a partnership between USAID and international non-government organization Plan International, with support from Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits, Inc., and Maranao People Development Center, Inc.
“The US government, in partnership with the Philippine government, is committed to support Lanao communities in their journey to recovery,” Lehrer said.
MRP project beneficiary Nikki Macaraub, who has worked in her community to set up a learning center for liveihood opportunities, expressed her gratitude to the USAID’s Marawi Response Project and Plan International for assisting the internally-displaced persons in Marawi.
“Now that we have a facility for teaching sewing and dressmaking, we can help more displaced women like us to restart their businesses, and support their families to rebuild their lives,” Macaraub added.
To date, the United States through the USAID, has committed more than $63.6 million (P3.4 billion) for humanitarian and recovery work in and around Marawi.