ECHO and INGOs continue partnership to provide assistance to displaced persons in Maguindanao

During the visit of ECHO representatives to Maguindanao project areas
(Photo credits: Rosa May Maitem / ACF)
 
Showing their commitment to support those affected by small disasters and forgotten crises, the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) and a consortium of international non-government organizations (NGOs) will continue working to help internally displaced people in Maguindanao.

(Photo credits: Rosa May Maitem / ACF)
 
MAMASAPANO, Maguindanao, Philippines – Showing their commitment to support those affected by small disasters and forgotten crises, the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) and a consortium of international non-government organizations (NGOs) will continue working to help internally displaced people in Maguindanao.
 
Working in consortium, ACF International, CARE Nederland, and Save the Children will jointly implement a food security and livelihoods project worth 300,000 euros. They aim to assist people who fled the threat of conflict between government security forces and armed groups in Maguindanao last January 2015.
 
Over 60,000 people were displaced, leaving behind their homes and productive lands.  Many of them are children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and the elderly, trapped in challenging situations in evacuation centers. Based on the joint consortium assessment, the evacuees expressed needs such as food, shelter, water, and sanitation.
 
Describing the situation in Maguindanao as a "forgotten crisis", Pedro-Luis Rojo, head of the ECHO Regional Office in Thailand, said that over 40,000 people are still in need of assistance in the municipalities of Mamasapano, Shariff Saydona Mustapha and Datu Salibo.Rojo, who visited Mindanao recently, expressed concern over the current conditions of the displaced families. "There is not much attention being given by the media to this crisis. There is clearly a need for international humanitarian donors to step up and be involved," he said.
 
"The conflict provides a glaring fact about generational narratives of internal displacement. Families have lost count of the number of times they have evacuated due to the volatile situation in their communities," said Javad Amoozegar, ACF country director. ACF leads the NGOs’ consortium in project implementation and in advocating for more attention and resources to support the affected communities.
 
"The partnership among ACF, CARE Nederland, and Save the Children will contribute to reaching the remaining displaced families, through provision of food assistance and additional livelihood opportunities," Rojo said. He adds, "We really hope that the IDPs could eventually go back to their homes and farms. But this is not yet possible because of insecurity in their areas."
 
Despite their dire situation, Tahira Alang, a 36 year-old mother of five from Barangay Tukanalipao, has not lost hope. “Each day in the evacuation camp is a major struggle, and the future of my children remains unclear. This has happened to us countless times already and our lives remain the same. Even though we don’t have much in the way of food or clothing, we still hope that peace will reign," she said.
 
The ECHO, ACF, CARE Nederland, and Save the Children will work with the government to ensure that durable solutions to the crisis are found as soon as possible.

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