Red Cross aids families displaced in Maguindanao clashes-A A +A
Friday, August 17, 2012
KIDAPAWAN CITY -- Some 2,200 internally displaced persons in at least five towns in Maguindanao affected by recent armed clashes between government forces and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) received on Wednesday household items from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a humanitarian organization.
These items, the ICRC said, served as their emergency response to help displaced individuals cope with the situation brought about by the clashes.
The ICRC, together with the Philippine Red Cross, distributed cooking sets, hygiene kits and shelter items to 468 displaced families that sought temporary shelter in the Ampatuan National High School; Madrasah public market in Barangay Kauran; and Mahat Islamic school in Barangay Malating, all in Ampatuan town.
"During our assessment on the ground over the last few days, it was clear that although these families were in evacuation centers, they still faced difficulties to cover themselves from the rainy weather," said Christoph Polajner, head of ICRC's office in Cotabato City.
Polajner said these families left behind most of their possessions and are still unable to return home.
The beneficiaries received a kit containing a cooking pot, bath soaps, mosquito nets, sleeping mat, tarpaulins, and jerry cans.
ICRC also distributed medicine in evacuation centers to treat diarrhea.
To help people injured by the armed violence, the ICRC delivered a dressing kit, antibiotics, and analgesics which cover the needs of about 50 patients being treated at the provincial health office in Shariff Aguak.
The humanitarian organization also supported the medical treatment provided to five people who were wounded during the hostilities.
The ICRC is an impartial, neutral and independent organization whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of war and internal violence and to provide them with assistance, its mission says.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on August 17, 2012.