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Taiwan to provide humanitarian aid to Marawi in the Philippines

2018/01/08 22:06:21

Gary Song-huann Lin (林松煥, right)

Manila, Jan. 8 (CNA) Taiwan will provide humanitarian aid to the Philippines to help Marawi City recover from a five-month armed conflict that ended late last year, the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in the Philippines said on Monday.

Collaborating with the Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, the office will mount a relief effort that will include 10,780 tons of rice and 400 makeshift homes, Taiwan's representative to the Philippines Gary Song-huann Lin (林松煥) said.

The batches of rice are expected to first arrive in the city of Iligan in Mindanao later this month, where local authorities will help with the logistics to distribute the aid to the people, Lin said.

As for the makeshift homes, Tzu Chi volunteers will begin to scout around Marawi in February, and construction will begin as soon as an ideal location is found to set up the homes, he said.

Lin said he hoped the project could be completed in the first half of this year.

In May last year, a pro-ISIS group called the Maute group based in the Philippines attacked and besieged the city of Marawi.

The battle that later ensued between government forces and the militants lasted for five months before the city was liberated from the ISIS-linked group in late October.

More than a million people were displaced by the conflict.

Given the strong relations between Taiwan and the Philippines, Taiwan is ready to contribute to relief and reconstruction efforts in Marawi, and hopes that the people displaced by the conflict have the chance to return to their homes and get back to normal, Lin said.

(By Emerson Lim and Ko Lin)