AT least 7,000 people from the towns of Al-Barka and Tuburan in Basilan province fled their homes as a result of armed conflict between government security forces and rebel groups, an international humanitarian organization said on Tuesday.
“These families left their homes and sources of livelihood after the hostilities started in November. The residents of six villages in the conflict-affected municipalities of Al-Barka and Tuburan chose to stay with relatives or in evacuation centers for fear of being caught in the crossfire. The International Committee of the Red Cross’ (ICRC) distribution is in response to their basic needs for food,” Nezar Tamine, deputy head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Mindanao, said.
To support the needs of the affected families the ICRC, with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) Basilan chapter, provided food rations and hygiene items on December 7 and 9.
Each family received 25 kilograms of rice, two liters of oil, sugar, salt, 12 cans of sardines, soy sauce, and a hygiene kit containing shampoo, bath and laundry soaps, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
In July, the ICRC through the PRC provided essential household items and hygiene kits to 17,000 displaced people in Tipo-Tipo, Al-Barka and Ungkaya Pukan municipalities.