Life-saving aid given to 21,474 forcibly displaced individuals in Mindanao amid COVID-19
UNHCR Philippines continues to work with government and other partners to distribute Core Relief Items (CRIs) and Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to the most vulnerable.
UNHCR Philippines continues to work with government and other humanitarian actors for the immediate provision of life-saving assistance to forcibly displaced families in Mindanao, standing side by side in the commitment to stay and deliver during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There are now more than 80,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Philippines and more than 16 million in the world. The coronavirus is blind to borders and boundaries, and it impacts all of us. However, forcibly displaced families are at greater risk.
In April to June of this year, recent displacements due to conflict in some areas of Mindanao exacerbated by COVID-19, food scarcity, and the lack of water, sanitation, and health facilities, are making forcibly displaced families even more vulnerable. Challenges in movement and stricter community quarantine measures still pose as restraints to humanitarian actors and key state agencies in the timely and immediate provision of essential goods and services needed by the forcibly displaced.
Despite these challenges, UNHCR Philippines with the help of donors and partners, continues to work with government in delivering core relief items to the most vulnerable refugees, internally displaced persons and those at risk of statelessness.
Forcibly displaced families in Mindanao face serious health and protection risks brought about by conflict and the coronavirus pandemic. Over the period of three months, core relief items (CRI) were given to 21,474 families who have been forced to flee because of conflict. A total of 26,652 personal protective equipment were distributed, along with 4,452 mosquito nets, 4,148 solar lamps, 2,676 plastic sheets, 1,247 blankets, 781 hygiene kits, and 86 sleeping mats.
CRI Distribution in Pikit, North Cotabato
In partnership with Community and Family Services International (CFSI) and in coordination with the Local Government Unit, UNHCR distributed Core Relief Items (CRIs) to IDP families who were displaced due to recent armed clashes in the Municipality of Pikit, North Cotabato last 24 June. Said CRIs are comprised of plastic sheets to reinforce temporary shelters, blankets, sleeping mats, solar lamps, and mosquito nets benefiting 22 displaced families, most of whom have elderly members.
With the support of Magungaya Maguindanao Inc. (MMI) also provided 3,800 Core Relief Items (CRIs) comprising solar lamps and mosquito nets to 1,699 forcibly displaced families (5,638 individuals) in the barangays of Gli-Gli, Bulod, Fort Pikit and Inug-ug, all in Pikit, North Cotabato last 24 June.
CRI Distribution in Lebak, Sultan Kudarat
With the support of the Australian Government and in partnership with Magungaya Mindanao, Inc., UNHCR distributed Core Relief Items comprising 4x50m plastic sheets, mosquito nets, blankets and solar lamps to 214 families (804 individuals) who have been displaced in Brgy. Kalamongog Gymnasium and riverside at Brgy. Kalamongog, Lebak Municipality, Sultan Kudarat Province last 8 June.
CRI Delivery to MSSD BARMM for IDPs in Lanao del Sur
UNHCR, with the support of the Australian Government and in partnership with CFSI, delivered core relief items consisting of solar lamps, 4×5 plastic tarpaulins, and mosquito nets to MSSD BARMM to respond to the needs of the 55 displaced families in Barangay Matalin, Malabang, Lanao del Sur last 29 May.
PPE Delivery to MILG BARMM
13,420 Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and tarpaulins were delivered by UNHCR Philippines to Ministry of Interior and Local Government (MILG) BARMM in its renewed commitment to support the ministry in responding to the needs of displaced families in BARMM last 26 June.
PPE Delivery to CSWDO in Marawi
UNHCR delivered Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) consisting of face shields, patient care gloves and N95 masks to Marawi City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), to support 130 frontline service providers and five (5) line agencies on their COVID-19 response activities in Marawi City last 22 June. This is part of the City Government’s extensive intervention operations on the provision of basic services and relief assistance to internally displaced families in transitory sites and host communities.
UNHCR remains steadfast in its commitment to stay and deliver and works closely with the key government agencies to ensure that protection is at the center of all humanitarian responses for the benefit of the internally displaced amid the challenges brought about by COVID-19.
While responding to the COVID-19 crisis is a priority, ensuring the delivery of regular programmes to provide critical protection and life-saving support to UNHCR’s persons of concern in Mindanao continues.