Keeping the Lights On: Keep the Hopes High
Following a 5-month long conflict between armed groups and the Philippines government security forces in Marawi City, USAID advanced a multi-pronged menu of sustainable and targeted solutions for internally displaced persons (IDPs) across different sectors. The package of quick response development assistance was designed to alleviate the sufferings and improve the plight of roughly 360,000 IDPs. In line with the Philippine military’s strategy of keeping the lights on aimed at not only averting covert regrouping of violent extremists but instilling safety and security in IDPs, USAID through B-LEADERS rapidly deployed 205 units of solar-powered streetlights in selected transitory shelters that benefited 8,000 IDPs. The units were turned over to Lanao del Sur Electric Cooperative (LASURECO) after a series of trainings and workshops on repair and maintenance for sustainability. The technical assistance to LASURECO included a Vulnerability and Risk assessment report and a Resilience Compliance Plan. B-LEADERS likewise installed solar rooftops in four rural health clinics that provided basic electricity services to more than 22,000 patients using these facilities. The impact of USAID’s development assistance went beyond safety and security of IDPs but touched so many lives transforming a seemingly depressing situation to a brighter future filled with so much hope.