Philippines

IOM, Partners Provide Emergency Humanitarian Assistance to 50,000 Displaced by Armed Conflict in Southern Philippines

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Manila –The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the Philippines and partners are providing immediate assistance to over 51,000 people affected by the recent armed conflict in Maguindanao in the southern Philippines.

Armed conflict erupted on 18 March 2021 between the Government of the Philippines and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, displacing over 10,100 families from the municipalities of Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Mamasapano, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Shariff Aguak, Datu Salibo, Datu Unsay and Datu Hoffer Ampatuan.

An initial joint assessment at four evacuation sites in Data Saudi Ampatuan was conducted earlier this week (23/03) by IOM, UNICEF and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanano (BARMM)’s Ministry of Social Services and Development to understand the needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are now staying in over 30 evacuation sites.

IOM’s Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) teams have been deployed to provide technical support in setting up camp committees, conduct basic CCCM training in COVID-19 times, and deliver over 2,000 tarpaulins to IDPs in coordination with the Government of BARMM.

In light of the increasing cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines, and to avoid further suffering, ensuring that proper health and safety protocols are in place in the evacuation sites is absolutely critical at this time.

“This displacement exacerbates already vulnerable, and conflict-affected communities in BARRM. Our heart is with all these families during this extremely challenging time. We remain committed to work with the Government and partners to provide emergency humanitarian support, especially as the situation with COVID-19 is worsening in the country”, said Kristin Dadey, IOM Chief of Mission in the Philippines.

IOM, together with the UN and humanitarian partners on the ground, are working with the government to provide the displaced communities with emergency shelter, food, water, sanitation and hygiene, health and non-food items such as sleeping bags and hygiene kits.

IOM’s initial response is supported by the Governments of the United Kingdom and the United States.

A further USD 2 million is required to respond to these most urgent needs.

For more information, please contact Kristin Dadey at IOM Philippines, Email: kdadey@iom.int , or Itayi Viriri, at IOM Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (Bangkok) at Tel: +66 65 939 0934, Email: iviriri@iom.int

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