• $3-M emergency UN fund to aid the displaced in Zamboanga, Basilan


    The United Nations (UN) released a total of $3 million to assist the recovery of Zamboanga and its 117,000 displaced families from the recent siege that has taken place in the region.

    In a statement, the UN said that the $30-million fund to be given to UN agencies in the Philippines was sourced from UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) that provides help to those in need as a form of a “humanitarian response” from the organization.

    “We carried out an assessment with the Office of Civil Defense and looked at the most immediate needs of the displaced people of Zamboanga. We are requesting $24 million for the overall humanitarian operation… the funding gives us the resources to scale up response to support government departments and local authorities,” said Luiza Carvalho, UN Resident and Humanitarian coordinator in the Philippines.

    The immediately approved $3 million fund out of the requested $24 million was said to “address the immediate needs of camp coordination and camp management” for Zamboanga beneficiaries, as well as the other 8,000 displaced in Basilan.

    Other concerns to be addressed include water, hygiene and sanitation; child and gender-based protection from violence; health including reproductive health; logistics; and food and non-items such as cooking materials for daily living.

    The humanitarian coordinator said that the requested $24 million CERF funding will “scale-up” response to Zamboanga and Basilan, which would result in implementation of projects for livelihood and education to over 10,000 families whose homes were destroyed.

    “The CERF funding will scale-up the response. We now need generous donor support to address the $21 million gap,” Carvalho said, citing that the humanitarian response will be good for 6 months. KRISTYN NIKA M. LAZO


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