New Zealand to send millions in aid for Mindanao

Published May 29, 2018, 7:31 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Yas Ocampo

DAVAO CITY — The Embassy of New Zealand announced millions in pesos in aid for several programs in Mindanao as it introduced its honorary consul Tuesday night at the Marco Polo Davao.

In this Oct. 17, 2017, file photo, troops patrol the decimated streets of Marawi city after almost five months of the siege by pro-Islamic State group militants. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File / MANILA BULLETIN)
(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez, File / MANILA BULLETIN)

Among the aid is an P18 million (NZ$500,000) in humanitarian assistance to be made available via the World Food Programme (WFP) to assist those displaced in the Marawi Siege.

“New Zealand recognizes the magnitude of the challenges confronting the authorities in the Philippines and is committed to doing what it can to support the efforts of central and local government to help the displaced persons in Marawi,” Strachan said.

The assistance also includes agricultural aid amounting to P126 million (NZ$3.5 million).

The agricultural assistance will be coursed through the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

Meanwhile, Strachan said that the Embassy will be awarding 24 scholarships to Filipinos who want to pursue post-graduate degrees in New Zealand, with priority going to students coming from Mindanao and Visayas.

The Embassy announced Tuesday night the conferment of honorary consul to Vicente Lao and Manuel Osmeña for Mindanao and Visayas, respectively.

The declaration of the positions for both island groups follows what the Embassy calls a “growing interest of the New Zealand private sector in opportunities associated impressive economic growth in Davao and Cebu.