During the months of March and April, IOM with funding support from European Commission for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), commenced a project to respond to the urgent humanitarian needs of people who have been displaced due to the recent conflicts in Maguindanao, Central Mindanao. Both organizations are committed to provide safer and better living conditions to IDPs, most of who are staying in displacement sites.
Since January this year, the tension and hostilities of firefights have been rising in Central Mindanao between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) with the Philippine National Police Special Action Force. This has affected thousands of civilians in the communities of Buliok, Kalbugan and Bagoinged, Pagalungan in Maguindanao. Trying to avoid being caught in the cross fire, these people fled their homes and sought shelter in displacement sites such as evacuation centres or tent cities.
In order to assess the conditions and needs of the IDPs in displacement sites, IOM rolled out the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), covering 18 displacement sites with 5,746 families or 25,553 persons. As a result, with the funds from ECHO, IOM delivered various types of emergency assistance, such as Non-food Items (NFIs) and Emergency Shelter Kits (ESK).
The ESK materials were used for shelter upgrades inside the displacement sites, so that the IDPs can have better living conditions. Essential NFIs such as water sanitation and hygiene kits were also provided to the IDPs.
Camp coordination and camp management was also provided to ensure that affected IDP families staying displacement sites receive appropriate support and that these services are being well-managed and coordinated.
Furthermore, IOM in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and local government units, conducted an orientation to end Gender-Based Violence (GBV). The Community-Based Orientation on Survivor-Centered and Multi-Sectoral GBV Response addressed GBV related concerns and trained participants to create an action plan reflecting local mechanisms to fight, prevent, and even respond to GBV.