By Roy Mabasa
The Italian government has donated a total of US$240,000 (approximately P12.4 million) to help an estimated 6,500 Marawi residents displaced by the May 2017 bloody siege rebuild their lives.
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) who received the assistance welcomed the contribution from the Italian government.
In a statement, the WFP said the Italian government’s contribution will support families over three months, providing them with cash assistance in exchange for their participation in livelihood projects focused on fisheries and farming.
“Thanks to Italian support, WFP will be able to provide conditional cash assistance to 6,500 beneficiaries, complementing the Philippine Government’s operations,” said WFP Representative and Country Director Stephen Gluning said Monday.
Gluning said the WFP will work with various Philippine agencies like the Department of Agriculture, Agrarian Reform, and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to implement of the project.
The Italian Ambassador to the Philippines said Italy stands with the Philippine government in its effort to assist the affected people in Marawi as rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts continue.
“Our partnership with the World Food Programme will support the food needs of thousands of Filipinos as they rebuild their lives and livelihoods,” the Italian envoy said.
In 2018, Italy provided P13.4 million to WFP to assist 1,600 displaced farmers and their families with food assistance and livelihood support, including rice and corn production, bio-intensive and vegetable gardening, as well as inland fishpond tilapia farming.
WFP, through the support of its donors, has been working in partnership with the Philippine government by addressing the food security and nutrition needs of conflict-affected communities since the conflict broke out in Marawi City in May 2017.