EU to donate P49 million worth of humanitarian aid for Marawi victims

Evacuees from Marawi City. Image from DSWD Sec Judy Taguiwalo's Facebook Page
  • EU vows to help Marawi victims with P49 million worth of aid
  • The aid will be spent for life-saving assistance to the victims
  • There are over 70,000 families displaced due to the war in Marawi City

The European Union has announced on Tuesday that it would give 850,000 euros or around P49 million worth of humanitarian aid to victims of the ongoing clash between the military and the terrorist Maute Group believed to be backed by the Islamic State (IS).

“The unprecedented violence in Marawi has caused tens of thousands of families to flee, leaving everything behind. This has triggered a sharp increase in humanitarian needs as many of the displaced people are currently deprived of fundamental means to sustain their day-today lives,” Pedro Luis Rojo of the East, South East Asia and Pacific Regional Office was quoted in a story posted on ReliefWeb.

“This grant from the EU will support the delivery of immediate life-saving assistance to those most in need, and contribute to increased protection of populations affected by the conflict,” he added.

The funds, according to the story, will be channeled through the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) of which Rojo is the head.

EU’s pledge came after the government earlier said that it would not accept aid with conditions from the 28-state strong body.

During his first few months in office, President Rodrigo Duterte has unceasingly threw out cuss words at the EU for its remarks against his war against drugs. The President has also previously announced that the country will have an independent foreign policy, albeit the absence of specific details on it.

But in an interview with CNN Philippines, budget secretary Benjamin Diokno said the Philippines will not refuse donations from other countries for the victims of the Marawi seige, so long as these do not come with conditions.

“Like if the conditionality is that we should maybe stop our campaign against drugs, maybe that’s not acceptable,” Diokno then said.

As of July 2, the Department of Social Welfare and Development has recorded that there are more than 73,000 families displaced by the war.