COTABATO CITY, Maguindanao: The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) would be spending at least P12 million a week on food packs to support families displaced by ongoing military offensive in Maguindanao that started on February 25.
ARMM’s Humanitarian Emergency Action Response Team (ARMM-Heart) reported a total of 14, 517 displaced families or 72, 585 persons in the 11 affected towns in the province as of March 10.
The affected towns are Ma-masapano, Datu Salibo, Shariff Saidona Mustapha, Shariff Aguak, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Talayan, Datu Anggal, Midtimbang, Guin-dulungan, Datu Unsay, Talitay and Rajah Buayan.
The ARMM has carried out two humanitarian missions to bring food and medical assistance to the thousands of evacuees, who rely mainly on relief assistance for food.
Amir Mawallil, executive director of ARMM’s Bureau of Public Information, on Thursday said each food pack, which contains rations of rice, sardines and noodles, costs P450 and sustains a family for three days.
A family of evacuees, he said, needs at least two food packs a week to get by.
Mawallil said this means that the ARMM government would need to spend at least P12 million on food assistance alone to support 14, 517 displaced families.
The figure does not include the cost of other forms of assistance and the logistics.
The region’s first relief operation on March 3 catered to a total of 9, 434 displaced families.
On Wednesday, all 14,517 displaced families were targeted for relief, Mawallil said.