THE European Union is allocating €500,000 (over Php 29 million) in aid to provide vital humanitarian assistance to those affected by a series of armed clashes in the Philippines’ southernmost island of Mindanao.
This will address the pressing needs of the most affected people in some of the hardest-hit areas in the province of Maguindanao in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.
EU Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic said : “The recent violence in Mindanao has caused the already dire humanitarian situation in the area to worsen, with many more forced to live in displacement, adding to those already affected since the start of the conflict in 2017.”
“The EU funding will help our partners on the ground to step up their support, ensuring crucial assistance is provided to those most in need,” Lenarcic added.
The assistance will support the EU’s existing humanitarian partners – Action Against Hunger, CARE International and Oxfam International — in delivering much-needed assistance to those most affected.
It focuses on providing food security as well as ensuring access to clean water, sanitation and good hygiene practices. Other essential relief items will also be distributed.
The EU funding is being made available via the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) of the European Commission.
Mindanao has seen a surge in armed conflict between the government army and members of non-state armed groups over the first few months, causing what is considered the worst displacement situation since the Marawi siege in 2017.
The latest bout of violence that broke out in early May in the western town of Datu Paglas caused damage to infrastructure and shelters, leaving over 30,000 people displaced in dozens of displacement sites. The clashes came only a few weeks after the fighting in March in the same area forced more than 66,000 people to flee their homes. Volatile security situation makes it difficult for the displaced to return homes and restore their livelihoods.