Monday July 16, 2018

Red Cross gives aid to 7,000 home-based Marawi evacuees

THE International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) distributed aid to at least 7,000 displaced people temporarily housed in Tamparan, Lanao del Sur.

The ICRC said the relief goods were distributed in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross from Wednesday until Thursday, August 9 to 10.

Though aid has started to arrive, much more is required to meet the needs of people who have fled to this area when the fighting erupted on May 23.

Unlike those who fled towards the north or west of Marawi City, displaced families along the eastern shore of Lake Lanao have not received regular help due to security issues.

The ongoing conflict in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur has displaced thousands of people, with more than 77,000 fleeing to hard-to-reach areas along the eastern shore of Lake Lanao.

“Displaced families on this side of the lake continue to struggle with very limited food supplies,” Tomoko Matsuzawa, head of the Cotabato City ICRC office, said.

“Many of them have been staying with relatives for nearly three months. They have hardly any income, and their host families’ resources are also running low,” he said.

The ICRC focused its distribution on evacuees staying with their relatives, who have been underserved until now complementing the aid delivered by the authorities.

The organization distributed a half-month food ration and household essentials, i.e. 25-kilogram (kg) of rice, 12 cans of sardines, one-liter of cooking oil, one-liter of soy sauce, one-kg of sugar, 500 grams of salt, two jerry cans to store water, one blanket and one mosquito net per family.

The ICRC has also been providing the public hospital in Tamparan town with essential medical supplies to handle the sudden influx of people in need of medical attention.

Its engineers have also set up a mobile water-purification system to improve the supply of drinking water in the hospital compound.

In the coming weeks, the ICRC will continue its efforts to help the thousands of displaced people along the eastern shore of Lake Lanao. (SunStar Philippines)