About 13,500 families in Marawi City, south of Philippines, received assistance and protective aid against Covid-19 as part of the health response launched by World Vision and KOICA, September last year.
At least 7,900 families received sanitation kit containing bath soaps, toothbrushes, toothpaste, face masks, alcohol and an information material on health safety measures.
The response also provided P1,000 cash assistance to 5,600 families in the city. A rapid assessment conducted by World Vision in May 2020 showed that 92% of the household respondents’ livelihoods were disrupted, with the daily or casual laborers as the hardest hit. This resulted to 60%-68% of the households being unable to meet food and cooking expenses. The Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) said that a family of 6 needs at least Php 2,200.80 each week to meet food needs. The assessment results, however, showed that even prior COVID, families could no longer provide the said amount. This further worsened during the pandemic as their average food spending was further reduced from Php 1 797.06 to Php 1184.82.
“Our livelihoods were affected since the start of the pandemic. We couldn’t go out to work because of strict community quarantine measures. We used the cash to buy our basic needs,” said Norhaya.
Most of the families who received aid from the response are still reeling from the impact of the armed-conflict that happened in the city in 2017. They are still staying in transitory sites.
Abdul Raffy, a camp manager in one of the sites, lauded the health response. “The process in receiving the donation was smooth. We hope that you will continue your generosity. Know that the community will never forget your good deed,” he shared.
The response team who worked in the middle of the pandemic also found greater meaning as humanitarian workers. “Doing recovery works in the city that is still picking up from the effects of the armed conflict, and now facing a pandemic, is hard. Despite the uncertainties, the team found ways to help because it is when we are most needed,” said Adonis Casinillo, World Vision’s COVID-19 Response Field Coordinator.
As of writing, Lanao del Sur province, where Marawi City sits, is under General Community Quarantine.