Philippines

Philippines: AHRC reports on starvation in Philippines

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(Hong Kong, July 4, 2005) In a move to break the silence over suffering hunger in the Philippines, the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) on Thursday issued its first hunger alert on the starvation of tenant farmers in the country.
The Hong Kong-based regional human rights group reported on two families that are struggling to survive since a severe drought in Pigcawayan, Cotabato.

"After the drought they are now having difficulty in providing food and basic needs for their families", the AHRC said.

The AHRC said that although the provincial government has placed the area under a state of calamity, the two families had not received any assistance; nor had they benefited from the government's poverty alleviation programme.

It called upon the Social Welfare and Development Department and the local governor to act on the case.

It also urged the authorities to closely monitor the situation to avert similar occurrences of hunger.

"We are aware that many farming families in parts of the Philippines are facing severe food problems, but most of these go unreported," Payal Rajpal, hunger alert coordinator, said.

"We hope that this hunger alert on the Philippines will be a starting point for growing awareness and advocacy on incidents of starvation there," she said.

Individuals or organizations in the Philippines and other parts of Asia have been invited to send untold stories and information of people experiencing hunger and related problems, together with contact details, to the AHRC: hungeralert@ahrchk.net.

Asian Human Rights Commission
About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation monitoring and lobbying human rights issues in Asia. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984