MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur (PIA)--To further secure the welfare of citizens living in areas that have been drastically impacted by previous armed conflicts, the European Union (EU) in the Philippines and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) together with the Bangsamoro and provincial government here launched Wednesday, January 18, the project dubbed "Building Community Resilience and Delivery of Essential Services for Post-conflict Recovery in Lanao del Sur/Marawi."
The project is a three-year initiative that entails the allocation of a budget amounting to €4 million or P245 million to fund health, education, child protection, and disaster risk reduction and management (DRRM) programs in pursuit of amplifying community resilience, expanding the delivery of vital services, and championing child-friendly family and community behaviors.
The project has also set its areas of coverage, among which are Marawi City, 39 municipalities in the province of Lanao del Sur, and two towns each in the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Bukidnon which hosted some residents displaced by the siege in Marawi in 2017.
At least 680,000 children, 200,000 parents and 120,000 residents recognized as members of the vulnerable group are targeted to be accommodated.
EU Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Véron said the project materialized in support of the Bangsamoro regional and local authorities' endeavors to strengthen their capacities to plan and provide services from health to sanitation, nutrition, and social protection.
He looked forward to empowering communities by providing training on child-friendly educational practices, child nutrition, combating abuse, and gender equality, and these may pave the way for similar undertakings sharing the same mission.
"This comprehensive action is a way of piloting interventions. It may be replicated as this presents an important step to improve the lives of children in the Bangsamoro region," said Véron.
UNICEF Representative to the Philippines Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov then affirmed that the newly launched project is a huge and great funding opportunity that has been generously contributed by the EU, thus, would need ample effort to secure a fruitful project.
"We have to invest huge time and resources to make sure that this project will reap success for your children, communities and families," she said.
BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim is confident that the project will emphasize the importance of socio-economic interventions that address issues like poverty, peace and security, and post-conflict recovery in addition to the benefits that his region would enjoy.
Meanwhile, local chief executives of benefitting localities expressed their gratitude to the international organizations for the assistance poured into their places.
"The people of Lanao del Sur will always be grateful for all the services you provide to the province which not only benefit the current generation but also future generations as we strive for a healthier, more secured, socially-protected and child-friendly Lanao province and ultimately, the Bangsamoro region," said Lanao del Sur Governor Mamintal Alonto Adiong Jr. (CRG/PIA-10/Lanao del Sur with reports from BARMM)