By Lady Jean L. Kabagani

BALO-I, Lanao del Norte, Oct 5 (PIA/ICCC) — Humanitarian aid has always been part of the solution in many crisis situations, as many government agencies and humanitarian organizations continue to pouring assistance to the conflict-affected Marawi City.

At the height of evacuation of the Marawi residents, some of them flew from their homes going to the municipality of Balo-i, Lanao Del Norte, none of them thought that the conflict would last for more than three-days. It is devastating to realize that the combat between the military troops and Maute group lasted for five months.

People in Marawi have lost so many things, their homes and their livelihoods have gone, leading their normal lives to change.

Since the siege, Marawi residents valued the several sectors of the country drawn-out relief assistance to the evacuees.

As displaced farmers begin their transition to a new life in evacuation centers in municipality of Balao-i and other areas of Lanao del Norte, various organizations and humanitarian groups had open livelihood opportunities for the internally displaced families of Marawi City.

Efforts for recovery

From the onset of the conflict, residents have received humanitarian services from the government, civil society organizations, and non-government organizations.

Tears fall when a certain Marawi resident remembers the conflict brought by the siege. But it does not lose their hopes that one day; Marawi City will rise again to a better and much prosperous than usual.

Due to the siege, Marawi’s economy declined. On the recent efforts of the several organizations to revive agriculture in Marawi, Go Negosyo is one of those humanitarian organizations provided outpouring support to help rebuild the economic fabric of the city.

Go Negosyo ‘Kapatid for Agri’ program has been implemented to the Municipality of Balo-i, Lanao del Norte.

And for the residents of the war-torn city, these sustainable livelihoods assistance were increasingly helped them not just to recover, also to gain new confidence that no matter life takes them to, they’re always encouraged to stand up and see the life more meaningful.

Marawi’s internally displaced farmers currently staying Balo-i Municipality, Lanao del Norte attend the Yellow Corn Harvest Festival in one of the farm sites under the Go Negosyo Kapatid sa Agri Program. (Photo by Lady Jean Kabagani)

Currently, Go Negosyo-Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Program Head Ana Margarita Hontiveros-Malvar and her team provides a hands-on monitoring to the agricultural progress of these farms, as it continuously implementing the ‘Kapatid sa Agri’ Program for the internally displaced farmers affected by Marawi siege.

Go Negosyo aims to provide sustainable agricultural activities, generating income in the community and giving opportunities to revive the livelihood of those affected residents.

Pilmico Corporation provides income generating opportunities for Marawi farmers through the direct buying of their harvested crops and other agri products.

Meanwhile, Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) Field Office manager Assistant Secretary Felix Castro Jr. shared how he admires the enthusiasm, perseverance and the right attitude of IDP farmers when it comes to the aspect of agriculture.

“Gusto nating tulungan yung mga nangangailangan but mas tutulungan natin yung nakita natin na nagsusumikap, naghihirap at nagiging very successful yung negosyo. Naeencourage yung task force, yung Go Negosyo at yung Pilmico na tumulong [As much as we want to help those needy, but we are more willing to help those we see striving hard, persevere and those who has a very successful business. We are encouraged from the task force, Go Negosyo and Pilmico to help],” Castro cheered the farmers to be more persevere to revive livelihood local economy in their farming communities.

TFBM commits full support to the IDP farmers in paving way a more successful agriculture path.

“Yan ang ipapangako namin na hahanapan namin kayo ng tulong, titingnan natin kung ano yung maitutulong ng Task Force Bangon Marawi sa inyo at sana tuluy-tuloy na ito [We promise to find many ways of helping you, we will see what the Task Force Bangon Marawi can do for you and we hope that this will continue]”, Castro said.

“We will continue supporting you,” he added.

TFBM is committed to revive livelihood resiliency among IDP farmers in Marawi City and in its neighboring communities with the help of its member agencies and other humanitarian organizations. (LJKabagani/PIA ICCC)