UNHCR delivers gift of help to Sulu IDPs

Internally displaced families in Patikul, Sulu received the gift of help in the form of core relief items provided by UNHCR.

In Sulu, 70-year-old Jumlay Undah breaks into a smile as she receives a small box with a few household items. After years of living in displacement, a little help goes a long way.

“I had no choice but to live in such difficult and uncomfortable situation in this tent for over three years, this comes as a huge relief in improving our living conditions,” she said. Undah is one of the many internally displaced persons in Sitio Kan Kitap given aid by UNHCR and its partners.

The people in this town including Undah have lived in displacement due to fighting between armed groups. Not a day goes by that they are not fearful of a gun fight breaking out.

It is through the support of donors like you that UNHCR can deliver aid to more than 105 individuals in the remote Sitio Kan Kitap. Together with LGUs and local partners, UNHCR was able to provide core-relief non-food items to the displaced families.

Difficulties of delivering aid

Displacement is difficult and unjust for anyone anywhere. Unfortunately, this is doubly felt for those living in a place as remote as Sulu, where logistical obstacles and protracted conflict makes humanitarian efforts challenging.

Since September of 2017, IDP families of Sulu had to fend for daily survival while worrying that another skirmish can uproot their lives once more. Relief operations and protection monitoring are crucial to help restore hope in an island scarred by conflict.

UNHCR provided beneficiaries with non-food items such as kitchen sets and cooking utensils. Having fled with nothing, the families were grateful to receive necessities that lifted some of the weight brought by life in displacement.

Solidarity for peace

It is through the bayanihan spirit and inspiring teamwork between humanitarian actors and the local government that aid is able to arrive in Mindanao.

UNHCR Field Associate Rasul Kulat shared that strong support from the provincial government such as the Ministry of Social Services (MSS) has been critical in making humanitarian operations possible.

“There is also strong support and commitment [from] the Provincial Government thru the Provincial Disaster Risks Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) in responding to displacement situation,” added Kulat.

The openness of local government units to humanitarian partners also motivates UNHCR to further bolster its efforts to rebuild the lives of displaced families.

Turbulent reality

The road to building better futures is faced with challenges caused by clashes between armed groups that disrupt the people’s way of life and hamper the aid delivery to the island. Loss of livelihood occurs when skirmishes happen. Schooling is also disrupted for the children, making it difficult for them to rebuild their lives.

For now, displaced families of Sulu rely on the support of government and private donors to survive the day-to-day. More support is needed to provide them basic facilities such as WASH facilities and sturdy shelter materials. You can continue to help them rebuild their lives by making an additional gift to families displaced by conflict and violence. Please click to donate.