Philippines: Maguindanao IDPs undergo stress debriefing

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Cotabato City (4 November) -- Some 1, 000 women and children in the evacuation centers at Datu Piang and Datu Saudi Ampatuan towns in Maguindanao have undergone stress debriefing conducted by service providers of the Department of Social Welfare & Development in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (DSWD) recently.

DSWD-ARMM Secretary Bai Soraida Biruar said, stress debriefing is one of the psycho-social interventions for the IDPs to help them cope with the trauma and psychological anxiety as a result of the ongoing armed conflict in said areas the past weeks.

"These are very trying times for the women and children in conflict-affected areas. They need all the help they can get endure the chaos and hostilities," she said.

Through face-to-face communication reinforced with games, dancing and singing, provided the women and children some respite from the rigorous and stressful life at the evacuation camps, Biruar said.

The agency also distributed food and non-food relief goods to IDPs OF Datu Piang, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Shariff Aguak and Mamasapano consisting of 250 sacks used clothings, 2, 000 tins canned goods, 14 boxes [acked rice and 7 boxes canned porridge.

DSWD-ARMM latest reports show that a total of 4, 000 families remain in the different evacuation centers in Maguindanao province of which 2, 369 are in Datu Piang, 1,044 in Mamasapano, 562 in Datu Saudi Ampatuan and 333 in Shariff Aguak.

Aside from this, the IDPs will also receive from the DSWD-ARMM an initial P100 per family for one week as subsidy to the community kitchen.