MARAWI CITY –Coping from the violent armed conflict in 2017, the people of Marawi experience yet another war, but this time with an invisible but deadly enemy — COVID-19.
As early as March 17, the local government of Marawi placed the entire city in community quarantine, limiting the movement of its residents. Like in many areas, the enforced quarantine caused losses and economic strain for the people, many of whom still recovering from the impact of the armed siege.
“It was difficult after the siege but more so now because our family members could not go out to work. We lost almost everything three years ago and now here comes another challenge,” says 79-year-old Sappia Abba.
No work means no income for Abba’s family, which has been living in a resettlement area along with hundreds of displaced families.
Recognizing these vulnerabilities, humanitarian agency World Vision, with funding support from World Vision Korea, extended its assistance to battle-stricken children and their families in the province of Lanao del Sur, where Marawi City is also situated.
In coordination with the local governments and the Task Force Bangon Marawi, World Vision has started distribution of family sanitation kits which include bath soaps, toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwash, face masks, and alcohol. Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and disinfectant kits were also provided to the Amai Pakpak Medical Center which is the only COVID-19 referral hospital in the province of Lanao del Sur.
“We have been working with and for the people of Marawi prior to COVID-19. We recognize how doubly hard it is for the residents, especially the children of this city, who were subjected to harsh conditions only three years ago, and are now faced with another kind of ‘war’,” says Adonis Casinillo, World Vision response manager for Lanao del Sur.
Since 2017, World Vision’s emergency response in Marawi’s armed conflict areas has reached over 235,000 people, including 196,000 children. More recently, rice distribution project for 66,000 families has started, while a peace and protection project for children transitioned to the second phase. (World Vision/PIA ICIC)