Philippines: DSWD provides supplemental feeding for children in Mindanao

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Social Welfare and Development Secretary Esperanza I. Cabral said that supplemental feeding has been provided to some 23,627 children staying in the four evacuation centers in regions X, XI, and ARMM who were displaced due to the armed conflict in the area. "These children who are zero to six years old are from the evacuation centers in Maguindanao, Shariff Kabunsuan, North Cotabato, and Lanao del Norte. The supplemental feeding will boost the energy and resistance of these children to prevent them from getting sick while inside the evacuation centers," Secretary Cabral explained. To date, there are 62,317 families displaced by the armed conflict, wherein some 13,836 families are being served inside the 146 evacuation centers in the three regions in Mindanao. Secretary Cabral added that the DSWD has conducted supplemental feeding for the 126 pregnant and lactating mothers in the evacuation centers in Kolambugan, Munai and Tangkal in Lanao del Norte. Likewise, the 326 children who are six to 12 years old in the same evacuation centers in Lanao del Norte were provided with supervised neighborhood play by the social workers. Meanwhile, the construction of three units bunk houses with 42 rooms in Tangkal and Munai were completed. This will serve as temporary shelters of the internally displaced persons (IDPs). According to Secretary Cabral, the DSWD has partnered with the local government unit of Maguindanao for the construction of bunk houses in Datu Piang, Datu Saudi, Shariff Aguak, Talayan, and Mamasapano. "We are fast tracking the construction of bunk houses in order to decongest the evacuation centers. Likewise, classrooms will be used so that classes will resume as soon as possible," Secretary Cabral disclosed. In addition, the DSWD conducts master listing and profiling of the IDPs through the use of Disaster Assistance Family Access Cards for the efficient and effective provision of appropriate services and interventions for the affected families. "The national government is exerting all efforts within its capability to help all the IDPs as this is the primary concern of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo," Secretary Cabral continued. ### (DSWD - Social Marketing Service) November 13, 2008