Australia provides P10M aid for Zamboanga, Basilan-A A +A
Thursday, September 26, 2013
THE Australian Embassy in Manila on Thursday announced that its government will provide P10 million in emergency aid for those affected by the violence in Basilan and Zamboanga City.
In a statement, Australian Ambassador to Manila Bill Tweddell said the conflict in Zamboanga and Basilan has created a humanitarian crisis "deserving an Australian response."
"We are deeply concerned by the recent violence in Mindanao and the effect this has had on local people," he added.
Australia is one of the biggest provider of development assistance aid in Mindanao, where a decades-old territorial conflict has been brewing between Islamist rebel groups and the Philippine government.
On September 9, a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) led by Nur Misuari seized six villages in Zamboanga City and launched pre-dawn attacks on civilian communities, leaving some 120,000 people displaced and some 10,000 homes destroyed.
By September 13, the fighting spilled over to the nearby province of Basilan, believed to be the home to the majority of secessionist groups in the Philippines such as MNLF, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
At the request of the Philippine government and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Armm), Australia's assistance will provide emergency aid including food, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, blankets, water containers, and kitchen and hygiene kits for people left homeless by the conflict.
"Many people have lost their homes and livelihoods and are now staying in evacuation centers with very limited access to food, health, hygiene, water, and other basic services," Tweddell said.
The Australian government has made such items available through their partnerships with the Philippine Red Cross, the World Food Programme, and the United Nations Population Fund "to assist the Philippine government to respond quickly and effectively to the ongoing crisis in Zamboanga City and Basilan."
In partnership with the Philippine Government, Australia’s aid program is working to improve the conditions for peace and security in Mindanao. (CVB/Sunnex)