More than 870,000 persons, most of them in Central Mindanao, have been affected by flooding all over the Philippines because of incessant rains brought by the Southwest Monsoon and a string of severe weather disturbances that entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (Tropical Storms Dodong (international code name Sarika); Egay (Haima); Falcon (Meari). Close to 100,000 persons have been displaced and have sought refuge in schools and other public infrastructures. Most of the communities affected by the flooding in Mindanao were the same communities that were affected by the conflict in 2008. The Mindanao flooding was aggravated by the blockage of major waterways by the unabated growth of water hyacinths. The clusters/sub-clusters UNICEF is co-leading, in WASH, Nutrition, Education and Child Protection have been mobilised to respond to the emergencies in Mindanao. UNICEF and the clusters have participated in rapid assessments and in missions for the Damage Assessment and Needs Analysis (DANA) initiated by the Mindanao Humanitarian Team and the government.
The emergency has increased the risk of measles, diarrhea and pneumonia among children. UNICEF is in close coordination with the government and health partners to ensure that the spread of disease is prevented.
UNICEF is working with the local authorities and through the clusters in ensuring that the needs and rights of children in the affected areas are adequately addressed. UNICEF has sent non-food items (NFIs), i.e. plastic sheets, blankets, plastic mats, for the displaced families in Maguindanao and Cotabato City in Mindanao. Emergency health kits and Hyposol water purifiers have also been dispatched to augment supplies of health facilities. Recreation kits and materials for Child-Friendly Spaces have also been sent to partners who have initiated play activities in the evacuation centers.
The National Government, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), has issued on 24 June 2011 a request to the international community for humanitarian assistance for the flooding in Mindanao.