Australia to provide A$20 million assistance for Marawi siege victims

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has announced in a statement that the Australian Government will provide A$20 million assistance to ease the suffering of civilians caused by the siege in the City of Marawi.

Bishop said the assistance would be implemented over the course of four years to support recovery and long term peace and stability in Southern Philippines.

She conveyed having a meeting with President Duterte on August 7 in Manila where they discussed the conflict in Marawi and the impact it brought to the civilians in the region.

The Australian Foreign Minister said the said assistance is in addition to the  A$920,000 emergency food and other supplies which she announced in June 20.

“Australian assistance will also fund small-scale infrastructure projects for communities around Marawi including provision of clean drinking water and repair of local roads,” she said in the statement.

Bishop further expressed Australia’s willingness in assisting community peacebuilding efforts and strengthening local capacity in resisting and countering extremism.

“Australia’s support will help meet the urgent needs of these displaced people including through child protection and counselling services,” she added.

Australia is one of the countries which strongly support the peace process between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Government of the Philippines.

She said, “Australia remains committed to supporting the peace process and development in Muslim Mindanao, which are critical for a strong, stable Philippines, and our assistance will complement the existing programs and priorities of the Philippine Government.”