Philippines: US Ambassador announces $2.5-M aid to families displaced by armed conflict in Mindanao

Davao City (21 November) -- During a visit today to a camp for internally displaced persons in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao Province, US Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney announced that the U.S. Government is providing $2.5 million in assistance to individuals and families displaced by the tragic outbreak of violent conflict in Mindanao.

The assistance includes 1,480 metric tons of U.S. rice, valued at approximately $2 million, for free distribution by the United Nations World Food Programme, as well as water, health, and sanitation support by NGO partners.

Soon after the conflict began, the United States Government responded by supplying essential relief goods to families in need in the provinces of North Cotabato, Lanao del Norte, Sarangani, and Maguindanao, through Save the Children.

During her visit to Datu Odin Sinsuat and Cotabato Friday (Nov. 21), the Ambassador recognized the work of the National Disaster Coordinating Council, the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and the Departments of Health of the national government and in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) to improve the health and sanitation situation to people who were forced to flee their homes due to the violence.

"My thoughts are with those who have been displaced by fighting, people whose lives have been lost and disrupted," said Ambassador Kenney. "Working together, we can help Mindanao move toward peace and prosperity, so the citizens of Mindanao - especially the children - may have the future they deserve," she added. (PIA)