The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) is providing €300,000 (about P14.1 million) to fund emergency humanitarian assistance to people who have been displaced in the Maguindanao area after the recent escalation of violence in Mindanao.
This will enable the provision of life-saving relief items to the most vulnerable, and support the management and provision of services at evacuation and displacement sites.
The armed conflict in Central Mindanao, southern Philippines, intensified in February 2015 when fighting erupted between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in the towns of Pagalungan and Pikit. The clashes further escalated when the Armed Forces of the Philippines launched an offensive against the BIFF. The fighting resulted in the displacement of over 120,000 people in Maguindanao province.
The two-month emergency project will specifically focus on the most vulnerable families. It will help ensure that they have access to safe and dignified shelters, water and sanitation facilities as well as lifesaving non-food items such as blankets, sleeping mats and hygiene kits. Psychosocial support will also be provided to displaced persons.
The European Union is also continuing its assistance to families displaced by the fighting which took place in Zamboanga in 2013 by providing €297,600 (about P14 million) on top of the assistance provided in 2013 and 2014 or €250,000 (about P11.75 million), bringing total humanitarian aid for the crisis to almost €850,000 (about P40 million).