Father Anton Pascual (second from right), executive director of Caritas Manila, appeals for continuous help for displaced people in the southern Philippine city of Marawi. (Photo by Mark Saludes)
The social action arm of Manila Archdiocese has appealed to the government and NGO's to provide skills training and employment opportunities for displaced families in the city of Marawi in the southern Philippines.
"They need a definite source of income for a long-term answer to the crisis," said Father Anton Pascual, head of Caritas Manila.
The priest said the archdiocese had already allocated US$40,000 "in cash and in kind" for the refugees.
"But what they really need is a source of living," said Father Pascual. "They need to get back to their normal lives," he said.
The priest called on government and non-government groups to provide skills training programs and scholarships to people affected by the conflict.
Bishop Edwin de la Pena of Marawi praised the efforts of church institutions in helping the refugees.
"We are overwhelmed by this expression of generosity and support for our evacuees. We hope we will continue to support them," said the prelate.
The bishop said the "bigger challenge" of rebuilding Marawi is yet to come.
Caritas Philippines, the humanitarian agency of the bishops' conference, announced that it has sent US$200,000 worth of emergency relief response to Marawi.