Climate change is a threat multiplier for the forcibly displaced in Mindanao

Disaster preparedness, access to resources, and opportunities to rebuild sustainable livelihoods will help forcibly displaced communities mitigate the impact of climate change.

In a remote area in the middle of the Liguasan wetlands is community that is prone to climate hazards. Despite this, the community has become a safe refuge for those who have been forced to flee due to armed conflict from neighboring barangays. In this community resides Racma, a wife of a fisherman, along with her husband and five children, who lives in a house standing on stilts. Barangay Butiren in Kabuntalan, Maguindanao, remains to be an area with little to no electricity, and is challenged by flash floods which come unpredictably especially during the monsoon season.

Racma shares the challenges they face with the limited access to electricity and the fear of the rising of water levels that threaten their stay in their fragile home. As a mother, she shares that she is unable to sleep soundly at night, especially when the rain pours heavily, and she fears that flood will enter their house and drive them to immediately seek higher and safer grounds. Your support enables UNHCR to respond with life-saving assistance and protect and empower families like Racma’s. Disaster preparedness, access to emergency life-saving assistance, and opportunities to rebuild sustainable livelihoods can protect the most vulnerable families during climate emergencies.

UNHCR Philippines Goodwill Ambassador Atom Araullo in Brgy. Buti

Brgy. Butiren in the Municipality of Kabuntalan, in Maguindanao has experienced numerous displacements in the past, and has become a host community themselves for other displaced families due to conflict. Brgy. Butiren is also frequently affected by gradually rising flash floods. © UNHCR/Martin San Diego

UNHCR Philippines Goodwill Ambassador Atom Araullo in Brgy. Buti

Mhads Latip, one of the fisherfolk who received a fishing boat and net as part of UNHCR’s quick impact livelihood support projects, shared his struggles with the overlapping problems of conflict and climate change. © UNHCR/Martin San Diego

UNHCR Philippines Goodwill Ambassador Atom Araullo in Brgy. Buti

The fisherfolk and families in Brgy. Butiren are threatened by the water levels that have become increasingly unpredictable, and this affects their catch and drives them to seek higher and safer grounds. © UNHCR/Martin San Diego

Internally Displaced Person

UNHCR Philippines Goodwill Ambassador Atom Araullo visits Brgy. Butiren in the Municipality of Kabuntalan, in Maguindanao, taking part in the distribution of solar lamps to fisherfolk in the community without access to electricity. A total of 280 households received solar lamps. © UNHCR/Martin San Diego

With your help, UNHCR and its partners distributed solar lamps to the community to provide a sustainable solution to the lack of electricity, and to provide much-need light and protection. Racma’s husband was also among the fishermen who received sustainable fishing equipment such as boats and bamboo fishtraps, to assist in their livelihood and greener fishing practices. Limited resources and worsening environmental conditions not only threaten their safety and security, but also their ability to earn a living. Your support ensures that they are able to continue providing for their families.

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Thanks to your support, UNHCR has given the fisherfolk solar lamps for much-needed light and protection, as they continue to face multiple threats brought by COVID-19, climate crisis, and recurring conflict.

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Through your support, boats and fishing equipment were distributed to the fisherfolk in Brgy. Butiren, Kabuntalan, Maguindanao, enabling them to continue sustainable fishing practices. © UNHCR/Jonathan Porras

Together, we can anticipate risk and work with local communities to increase their resilience to adapt. We can help strengthen preparedness and response, support environmental solutions, and empower displaced families and their host communities to mitigate the impact of climate change.

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