UAE gov’t opens rehab projects for Marawi
By Divina Suson
MARAWI CITY (Philippines News Agency) — The United Arab Emirates (UAE) government will launch several intervention projects for the ongoing rehabilitation of war-ravaged Marawi City.
UAE Ambassador Hamad Saeed Al-Zaabi said the projects include architectural and operational plans that are being requested by the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation and will be funded by the embassy.
Al-Zaabi was here on Sunday to visit the displaced families from the 2017 siege by Islamic State-linked militants.
In particular, the ambassador said the UAE-funded projects will focus on rehabilitation of schools, construction of child and youth center, construction of a center for orphans and a rural health unit in nearby Butig town in Lanao del Sur.
UAE IT Manager for the Philippine Embassy, Faisal Mohd Nabil, said the projects are already funded for this year and the embassy was only waiting for the local government to identify the beneficiaries.
“May budget na kami. Kung ilan ang kakasya sa budget yun ang i-implement namin in coordination with the LGU. Ang UAE Embassy ang mag-implement,” Nabil said.
(We have a budget. We will implement these projects based on the approved budget in coordination with the LGU. It is the UAE Embassy that will implement.)
Al-Zaabi visited the former main battle area, now referred to by the government as most affected area (MAA), and also went to see the transitory shelter site in Barangay Sagonsongan where more than a thousand of internally displaced persons (IDPs) live.
The ambassador then headed to the Grand Mosque and the Bato Ali Mosque where a Catholic priest, Fr. Teresito Soganub, was held hostage by the Dawlah Islamiya extremists for 100 days during the 2017 Marawi siege.
There are 31 mosques inside the MAA that were destroyed during the war and needed rebuilding.
It was Al-Zaabi’s first visit to Marawi City, where he also celebrated Eid’l Adha with the internally displaced persons who are staying in the transitory shelters in Barangay Sagonsongan.
The ambassador led the distribution of beef to the displaced families and around 200 sacks of fertilizer and five carabaos to farmers of Tamparan, Lanao del Sur, about 30-minute drive from Marawi. (PNA)