Today I announce that the Australian Government will provide assistance to ease civilian suffering caused by the siege in the Philippine city of Marawi and contribute to peace-building in the area.

The Australian Government is providing $20 million over four years to support recovery and long term peace and stability in the southern Philippines. This is in addition to the emergency food and other supplies valued at $920,000 that I announced on 20 June 2017.

Yesterday I met with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte in Manila, our second meeting for 2017. We discussed the conflict in Marawi and the impact it is having on civilians in the region.

The siege has brought enormous distress to the population of Marawi with around 360,000 people forced to flee their homes. Australia’s support will help meet the urgent needs of these displaced people including through child protection and counselling services.

Australian assistance will also fund small-scale infrastructure projects for communities around Marawi including provision of clean drinking water and repair of local roads. In addition, the Australian Government will assist community peacebuilding efforts and strengthen local capacity to resist and counter extremism.

Australia remains committed to supporting the peace process and development in Muslim Mindanao, which are critical for a strong, stable Philippines, and our assistance will complement the existing programs and priorities of the Philippine Government.

The Australian Government continues to work with the Philippine Government to combat terrorism in the region.

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