WFP Philippines Situation Report #1 - Armed Conflict in Mindanao, 30 March 2021

Situation Report
Originally published


In Numbers

66,019 displaced people (13,570 families) staying in 55 evacuation camps across 10 municipalities


  • WFP will provide logistics support to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) Government. WFP will bolster the movement of food and non-food items from the Government’s Emergency Operation Centre to evacuation camps.

  • WFP is assisting with coordination on food security and logistics.

Situation Update

  • The conflict between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) reignited on 18 March 2021. Firefights and mortar shells forced thousands of residents to flee their homes in the towns of Shariff Aguak, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Mamasapano, and Datu Salibo, (also known as the SPMS box – an area where BIFF operates, according to the military) and Shariff Saydona Mustapha. Sporadic skirmishes have also been reported outside the SPMS box (Guindulungan and Datu Hoffer municipalities).

  • The SPMS box was affected by military operations against the BIFF group in 2019, which continued until 2020. The United Nations Department for Safety and Security (UNDSS) expects prolonged fighting and further displacements given the scale of the military operation.

  • According to the Ministry of Social Services, as of 29 March 2021, a total of 13,570 families or 66,019 people have been displaced and are staying in 55 evacuation camps and some with their relatives in 10 municipalities (Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Datu Salibo, Shariff Aguak, Mamasapano,
    Datu Unsay, Datu Hoffer, Guindulungan, South Upi) in Maguindanao and in Midsayap municipality of North Cotabato.

  • An Emergency Operations Centre has been set up in the Maguindanao Provincial Capitol compound to coordinate the humanitarian response.

Current Humanitarian Response

  • The Ministry of Social Services and Development organized an inter-agency assessment among BARMM agencies on 19 March and found that:

• the priority needs of the displaced are food, shelter, health, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), protection, and camp coordination and camp management (CCCM);

• the majority of displaced households were engaged in smallholder farming, fishing, and petty trading;

• the markets are accessible unless movement or road closure is imposed. The nearest public markets are located in Shariff Aguak and Datu Piang. Makeshift markets (Talipapa) are also functional; o in evacuation camps, families usually share kitchen utensils. Displaced populations have resorted to using improvised cooking tools and firewood.

  • Following the assessment, the BARMM Government started to distribute food to displaced populations in evacuation camps. Other humanitarian actors have provided temporary shelter materials, sleeping kits, hygiene kits, cooking kits, and water.