Philippines: 700,000 people still urgently need assistance in the southern island of Mindanao

23 November, 2011
Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Catherine Bragg interacts with IDPs affected by conflict and floods in Shariff Saydona, Maguindanao Province, Mindanao, on 21 November 2011. Credit: Jay Directo
Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Catherine Bragg interacts with IDPs affected by conflict and floods in Shariff Saydona, Maguindanao Province, Mindanao, on 21 November 2011. Credit: Jay Directo

Nearly 700,000 people still urgently need humanitarian relief, protection and livelihood support in the southern Filipino island of Mindanao, the UN said today.

The warning came as UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Catherine Bragg concluded a five-day visit to the Philippines, during which she witnessed how people in Mindanao were coping with a protracted humanitarian crisis brought about by years of armed conflict and recurring natural disasters.

In June this year, severe flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains affected nearly 860,000 people in Mindanao, the country’s second-largest island. And clan violence continues to force many people to flee their homes.

Ms. Bragg pointed out that although the number of displaced people in Mindanao has significantly decreased since 2008, “many communities still remain vulnerable and in need of assistance.”

“I am concerned by the impact of cycles of displacement. The needs of vulnerable people in Mindanao are complex, and we must continue to address them through a concerted effort,” she added.

Ms. Bragg met with the regional government, aid organizations and people receiving aid to discuss how to strengthen the emergency response and prepare better for future disasters.

Following the monsoon, aid agencies provided emergency food, water, nutrition, shelter and health care to 750,000 people who had to leave their homes. The global-level UN Central Emergency Response Fund quickly released US$5 million for life-saving projects.

More>> ASG Bragg's statement

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