The United Nations (UN) ap-proved an additional $3 million as relief emergency fund for Mindanao communities displaced by the recent fighting between government forces and secessionist groups.
The recent armed conflict that affected communities in southern Philippines has been exacerbated by the torrential rains over the past weeks, the statement from the United Nations on Wednesday said.
“Conditions are overcrowded as people originally displaced by conflict who had returned home, are now returning to displacement sites as well as newly displaced flood victims,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.
Over 117,000 people are now displaced in Zamboanga City and over 8,000 are displaced in the Basilan province, the UN relief arm added.
The living conditions of the displaced communities further deteriorated with flooding in displacement sites as a result of rains the past four days with strong winds destroying plastic sheeting used as emergency shelter.
“We carried out an assessment with the Office of Civil [Defense] and looked at the most immediate needs of the displaced people,” Luiza Carvalho, the resident and humanitarian coordinator, said.
“We are requesting $24 million for the overall humanitarian operation and the CERF [Central Emergency Response Fund] funding gives us the resources to scale up the response to support government line departments and local authorities,” Carvalho added.
She was referring to the UN CERF.
Carvalho also urged the in-ternational community to address the remaining $21 million gap needed to assist southern Min-danao in the aftermath of the clashes between government military forces and a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) led by former Gov. Nur Misuari of Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Managed by OCHA, the CERF is one of the world’s largest sources of humanitarian funding.
The emergency funding was allocated to UN agencies and partners to enable them to provide life-saving assistance.
It will address the immediate needs of camp coordination and camp management, basic neces-sities such as water, hygiene and sanitation and protection.