Philippines: Support for people displaced by armed violence in Surigao del Sur

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Around 2,400 people displaced by armed violence in Surigao del Sur since September 2015 received one-month food supplies and hygiene items to help them cope with their situation.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), with its primary partner the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), distributed the relief items on 18 February to complement the aid already given by the authorities.

"Prolonged displacement is a challenge for both the affected families and the authorities. Most of the families depend on aid as they still fear going back home," said Pascal Porchet, head of the ICRC delegation to the Philippines. "We are here to fill gaps and ensure that the families get adequate support during their displacement."

The majority of the displaced families have been living in the provincial sports complex in Tandag city for over five months now, after three civilians were killed in their community.

While the general health situation in the sports complex is managed well by the Provincial Health Office, cases of stomach problems and diarrhea have been reported. A probable cause is poor hygiene and sanitation in the evacuation centre.

Between September 2015 and January 2016, the ICRC and the PRC helped 3,500 displaced persons in Surigao del Sur through distributions of food, household and medical items, the provision of potable water, and construction of toilets in the evacuation centre.

The ICRC is a neutral, impartial and independent humanitarian organization whose mandate is to protect and assist people affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence. It has had an established presence in the Philippines for over 60 years and a permanent presence in Mindanao since 1986.

For further information, please contact:
Allison Lopez, ICRC Manila, tel: 0908 868 6884
Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, ICRC Manila, tel: 0918 907 2125