64,600 flee Army, BIFF clashes in Maguindanao
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – After two weeks of fighting in the province of Maguindanao, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao said 64,600 people have fled their homes and have been staying in evacuation centers. Local authorities have warned that if the fighting lasts for more than a month, evacuation centers would run low in relief goods and other supplies.
ARMM’s Humanitarian Emergency Action and Response Team (HEART) said the fighting between Army soldiers and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters has already affected 11 municipalities in the province displacing about 12,920 families.
In the town of Shariff Saydona Mustapha, 1,864 families were displaced while around 2,637 families evacuated in Mamasapano town.
ARMM-HEART also documented 2,119 families displaced in Datu Salibo while at least 1,373 families fled in Shariff Aguak.
In Datu Saudi Ampatuan, 1,062 families were displaced and 939 families evacuated in Guindulungan.
Humanitarian responders were also able to document 1,195 families displaced in Talayan and 712 families fleeing in Talitay.
ARMM HEART added that 175 families evacuated in Datu Unsay and 589 families were displaced in Datu Anggal Midtimbang.
Meanwhile, around 255 families from Mamasapano town have fled and taken temporary shelter in the nearby municipality of Rajah Buayan.
The regional government is continuing its relief efforts and it is set to send in fresh batches of relief and food rations on Wednesday.
ARMM executive secretary Laisa Alamia said that the regional government’s humanitarian response has been following the standards of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in delivering relief goods, which has a value of P450 per food pack.
“Every time there’s a displacement, we follow the DSWD standards at P450/food pack, excluding logistical and operational expenses,” Alamia said.
The food pack consists of rice, instant noodles and canned sardines and is being distributed per family.
Each food pack is expected to provide food for 3-4 days per family.
Based on the budget of P450 per family pack, the government needs at least P1,938,000 per day just for the food supplies of the displaced residents.
Alamia earlier said the regional government would work hard to provide the needs of the evacuees but with the recent figures of displaced residents, they might run low in supplies if the conflict would last for more than a month.
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