CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Saturday, 15 September 2018

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Displaced Marawi families given meat for Eid

COTABATO (UCAN): Islamic Relief Worldwide, an international relief organisation, distributed at least 3,870 kilogrammes of meat to 1,800 displaced families living in temporary shelters on the outskirts in war-torn Marawi in the southern Philippines to mark the observance of Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) on August 22.
 
Maryann Zamora, a spokesperson for the group in the Philippines, said the animals were slaughtered to commemorate the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice even his son to God.
 
Omar Rahaman, head of mission of Islamic Relief in the Philippines, expressed hope that the gift would bring hope to victims of the conflict. “(We also hope) that this will remind everyone to renew their faith in Allah, just like the Prophet Abraham did,” he said.
 
Although most of the displaced families are Muslims, Rahaman said even non-Muslim families displaced by last year’s five-month war also received meat.
 
Catholics in the predominantly Muslim city have vowed to help affected communities through the prelature’s social action programme.
 
“We remain one with the people of Marawi in their hopes and desires to begin the long journey toward recovering and rebuilding their city and the essential tasks of healing, reconciliation and peace building,” said Bishop Edwin dela Peña of Marawi.
 
The bishop said Catholics “are here to support and accompany displaced people all the way.”
 
Nine months after government troops drove out Islamic State-inspired fighters from the city thousands of people continue to live in temporary shelters around Marawi.
 
Families who returned to their homes also face challenges in rebuilding their houses.
 
Mark Bidder, head of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said it is “still a long road ahead.”
 
He said the humanitarian consequences of the conflict are expected to extend beyond 2018, noting that the government still has to complete its rehabilitation and reconstruction plan for the city.
 
Bidder said people need decent employment and sustainable livelihoods that can stabilise their income, enhance security and initiate long-term socioeconomic recovery.
 
The government earlier announced that about $11.77 billion (US$1.5 billion) is needed for the reconstruction and rehabilitation, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2021.

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