MANILA- The United States launched on Tuesday a P1.35 billion ($25 million) assistance program for war-torn Marawi City, its envoy said.
Washington's ambassador to Manila, Sung Kim, said the Marawi Response project would be implemented in the next three years through the United States Agency for International Development.
The program's launch comes on the eve of the anniversary of the liberation of Marawi City from Islamic State-inspired extremists.
It can be recalled that President Rodrigo Duterte on Oct. 17 last year declared the city’s liberation. Combat operations however ended on Oct. 23, 2017.
"The US government shares the concern of the Philippine government for ongoing economic, social, health, and education needs of the people of Marawi and neighboring municipalities," Kim said in a statement Tuesday.
"Through the Marawi Response Project, the US government, in partnership with the Philippine government, will expand livelihood opportunities and help restart local businesses," he added.
Kim added that the US will also offer "micro-grants" to displaced persons and host communities to address their "short-term needs."
The US envoy also announced the launch of its "Empowering Madrasa Educator 2 program."
The P12.7-million program will engage 200 madrasa educators and administrators from Marawi, Lanao del Sur, and other Mindanao communities in intensive, long-term training.
"Through the program, madrasa teachers will improve their English proficiency and computer literacy, and learn student-centered teaching methods emphasizing critical thinking and creativity," Kim said.