News release

Philippines: Aid delivered to 7,000 evacuees cut off by Marawi fighting

Geneva/Manila (ICRC) – The ICRC, in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), has just completed an aid distribution among 7,000 displaced people in Tamparan municipality, an area east of the Lanao Lake in the Philippines island of Mindanao that has been difficult to access so far due to the heavy fighting in its capital Marawi City. According to the official estimates, in two months of the conflict in Marawi, there have been over 77,000 people fleeing to areas along the eastern shore of Lake Lanao.

Though aid has started to arrive, much more is required to meet the current and future needs of the people who have been fleeing to this area since the fighting erupted on 23 May. Unlike those who fled towards the north or west of Marawi, displaced families along the eastern shore of Lake Lanao have not received regular help owing to access, logistical and security issues.

"Displaced families on this side of the lake continue to struggle with very limited food supplies," said Tomoko Matsuzawa, head of the ICRC office in Cotabato City. "Many of them have been staying with relatives for nearly three months. They have very little income, and their host families' resources are running low."

Complementing previous aid delivered by the authorities, the ICRC focused its distribution on evacuees staying with relatives, who have been underserved till now. The ICRC distributed a half-month ration of food and household essentials, and plans to do more in coming weeks.

Among the thousands who received help is Asliya Casanali, a young mother of three from Marawi City who said food is scarce. "When there is nothing else available, we make do with rice. We have never faced such a situation before," she said.

The ICRC has been providing the public hospital in Tamparan with essential supplies for handling the influx of people, and ICRC engineers have set up a mobile water-purification system to improve the hospital's supply of drinking water.

Since the beginning of the conflict the ICRC has distributed food to around 20,000 displaced people and essential household items to around 48,000 people. The ICRC teams, in cooperation with the PRC, have also installed drinking water points, improved the drainage and built toilets and kitchen kiosks in one of the evacuation centers.

The ICRC has been providing financial support for the medical treatment of wounded civilians, as well as medical supplies to health facilities assisting wounded, sick or displaced people. Our current focus is on forensic training and support in the retrieval and the proper treatment of dead persons.

For further information, please contact:

Sanela Bajrambasic, ICRC Geneva, +41 79 217 32 17
Alison Lopez, ICRC Manilla, +63 908 8686884