The Canadian government on Monday announced its donation of an additional P32-million (CAD$800,000) humanitarian assistance for those affected by the conflict in Mindanao.
In a statement, the Canadian Embassy in Manila said the new aid would be coursed through a project of the International Organization of Migration (IOM), which will address the immediate needs of the thousands of victims in conflict-torn Mindanao.
“Canada’s support will ensure that conflict-affected families in the region will have access to improved temporary shelter conditions, access to safe drinking water, improved access to sanitation and hygiene facilities, as well as improved nutrition,” Canadian Ambassador to the Philippines Neil Reeder said.
“We continue to build our strong ties with the Philippines with this assistance,” he added.
Canada recently named the Philippines one of its “countries of focus” in terms of development assistance.
Despite a peace agreement signed in March 2014 between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the effects of decades of conflict continue in Mindanao where thousands of displaced families live in dire conditions.
“Congested evacuation centers are increasing health risks, malnutrition and protection concerns,” the statement said.
The new funding will support IOM’s efforts to support the conflict-affected women and children by improving the coordination and management of camps for more than 25,000 internally displaced people in 10 evacuation centers and four temporary shelters, as well as improving conditions in temporary shelters by providing privacy partitions for approximately 4,000 families in evacuation centers.
“Canada’s generous contribution of $800,000 to IOM for its humanitarian relief in conflict-affected areas in Mindanao is helping thousands of vulnerable people,” Marco Boasso, IOM chief of mission in the Philippines, said.
“Canada’s support will pay for camp management in evacuation centers for displaced persons and transitional shelter for people leaving the centers and returning home. It will also support the Bangsamoro Peace Process. The IOM Mission in the Philippines is grateful for the generous support of the Canadian government.”
IOM works to help ensure the orderly and humane management of migration and provides humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, be they refugees, displaced persons or other uprooted people.
Canada has a long-standing relationship and a strong partnership with IOM, the statement said.