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USAID Launches First Mindanao Youth Innovation Summit
March 4, 2020

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Members of Maribonian’s Youth Organization brief USAID Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II about their proposal to establish a tailoring shop that will engage unemployed women and out-of- school youth.

Manila, March 4, 2020 — The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on March 3 launched the YOUth Innovate! Summit to engage and recognize young innovators in Mindanao, especially those directly affected by the 2017 Marawi Siege.

The summit, organized by USAID and Plan International, highlighted the innovation ideas of 22 youth groups, and is part of the U.S. government’s support for economic recovery and rehabilitation of areas in Mindanao affected by the Siege.

USAID Mission Director Lawrence Hardy led the ceremony with Governor Mamintal Adiong, Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno, Iligan City Mayor Celso Regencia, and Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra, along with 250 youth leaders from displaced and host communities in the Lanao provinces, including Iligan and Marawi.

“This summit showcases how youth-led innovation can help communities build back better from conflict,” Hardy remarked.

As part of his trip to CDO, Hardy commemorated Women’s History Month and World Water Day by meeting with women entrepreneurs, and handing over a USAID-constructed trading center, and water storage tanks, to the Municipality of Kapai to support the reintegration of displaced communities.  Hardy also handed over USAID-support

Director Hardy turns over the Water Supply System Mini Master Plan and Water Safety Plan to Marawi City Water District General Manager Rashdi Adiong and Task Force Bangon Marawi Assistant Secretary Felix Castro.To date, the U.S. government, through USAID, has committed more than $63.6 million (Php3.4 billion) for humanitarian and recovery work in and around Marawi.  USAID implements projects that advance health, education, economic growth, good governance, and environmental resilience in CDO, which is one of USAID’s eight partner cities through its Cities Development Initiative.  Through this initiative, USAID works with cities outside of Metro Manila so that they can attain their full potential as engines of inclusive, sustainable growth for the country.


USAID is the lead U.S. government agency for international development and disaster assistance. In the Philippines, USAID partners with the national government to build a more stable, prosperous, and well-governed nation.  For more information, visit https://www.usaid.gov/philippines or email infoph@usaid.gov.