• ‘CIVILIANS BEAR BRUNT OF FIGHTING’

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    THE International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), with its partner the Philippine Red Cross, delivered food supplies to evacuation centers in Datu Saudi Ampatuan and Datu Salibo towns in Maguindanao province on Thursday to augment the assistance provided by the government since the hostilities began in February.

    About 13,000 people in the province displaced for over two months, owing to the armed clashes between government forces and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), received half-month food rations.

    “We are concerned by the impact of the fighting on the civilian population. These communities are already scarred by armed violence that has been going on for decades.

    Today, they continue to bear the heavy consequences of uninterrupted conflicts, such as living in crowded shelters for a long period,” Pascal Porchet, head of the ICRC delegation in the Philippines, said.

    “On top of this, the El Niño makes life in the evacuation center even more difficult. It has also devastated their farms and livelihood, forcing them to depend on aid,” he added.

    Each displaced family received 25 kilograms of rice, 12 tins of sardines, two liters of cooking oil, two liters of soy sauce, two kilograms of sugar and 500 grams of salt.

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