By Warren Elijah Valdez
DAVAO CITY – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID launched the “YOUth Innovate!” Summit in Cagayan de Oro (CDO) City Tuesday, March 3.
In a statement, USAID said the initiative was part of the US government’s support in rehabilitating some areas of Mindanao by engaging and recognizing the young Mindanaoan innovators, especially those who were directly affected by the Marawi siege.
The summit, initiated by the USAID and Plan International detailed the innovative ideas of 22 youth groups who were part of the undertaking.
Along with 250 youth leaders from displaced and host communities in the Lanao Provinces, USAID mission director Lawrence Hardy led the opening of the summit together with some provincial and local government officials, namely, Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno, Iligan City Mayor Celso Regencia, and Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra.
“This summit showcases how youth-led innovation can help communities build back better from conflict,” Hardy said.
The USAID mission director also met with women entrepreneurs as part of recognizing Women’s History Month and World Water Day.
Further, the USAID- constructed trading center and water storage tanks were also handed over to the municipality of Kapai as part of USAID’s support for the integration of the displaced communities.
Also, to address the water services expansion in Marawi City, the Marawi City Water District was able to receive USAID-supported water plans and technical studies.
The US government, through USAID, has allocated more than $63.6 million (P3.4 billion) for rehabilitation of Marawi.
Meanwhile, the USAID continues to implement its projects advocating for health, education, economic growth, good governance and environmental resilience in CDO as one of its eight partner cities through its Cities Development Initiative which enables the them to work with cities outside Metro Manila “so they can attain their full potential as engines of inclusive, sustainable growth for the country.