U.S. gov't to give $15 million to aid Marawi

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Banggolo Bridge in Marawi

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 5) — The United States government pledged $15 million or roughly P730 million for relief, recovery and rehabilitation efforts in war-torn Marawi City and its surroundings.

"The United States is deeply committed to this relationship and remains ready to support our friend and ally as we face the challenges and opportunities," said Sung Kim, Washington's ambassador to Manila.

The donation will come through Washington's foreign aid arm, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), in two categories.

One, USAID will provide P153 million for emergency relief supplies and operations. It will include potable water, hygiene kits, shelter materials and programs to protect displaced women and children.

Two, P577 million will be put into the early recovery and rehabilitation of Marawi and surrounding towns affected by the government's war against the ISIS-affiliated Maute group.

"This money will focus on restoring basic public services including health care, water and electricity; jumpstarting livelihoods and promoting community reconciliation and alternatives to violent extremism," said Kim.

Government troops have been fighting extremists in Marawi since May 23. Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief Eduardo Año said he expects to win the city back before he retires next month.

The U.S. provided government troops in Marawi with intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) support. It recently handed over to the government two brand new Cessna 208B aircraft with advanced surveillance capabilities.

In July, the U.S. government gave 100,000 chlorine tablets and 12,000 water containers to enable 12,000 families to purify water for drinking.

"We all look forward to the end of the crisis, and the end of the fighting and suffering.  We have been and will continue to support the Philippine government's efforts to deal with the crisis," Kim said.