As COVID-19 cases grew in May, the ICRC's operational response focused on populations most at risk, such as detainees, displaced and vulnerable people.

Philippines: ICRC response to COVID-19 (June 2020 edition)

As the number of COVID-19 cases grew steadily in May, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) continued to carry out programmes geared to support national authorities, health-care facilities, places of detention and the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to respond to the pandemic. Our operational response focused on populations most at risk from the spread of the virus, such as: detainees, displaced and vulnerable people in conflict-affected areas of Mindanao.
Article 15 June 2020 Philippines

The ICRC invested a strong effort in assisting authorities to set up isolation centers in selected detention facilities and to assist the staff with expert technical advice, infection prevention and control training, essential protective equipment, hygiene and other items.

By the end of May, the support reached over 35,000 beneficiaries in 53 places of detention. Notably, the ICRC supported the establishment of eight medical isolation centers managed by the BJMP (Bureau of Jail Management and Penology) and BuCor (Bureau of Corrections), with combined capacity of over 1,100 beds.
Simultaneously, the ICRC engaged in a close coordination with relevant national bodies, local authorities and international organizations to ensure that guidelines and policies on COVID-19 response take into consideration the situation in the congested places of detention.

The ICRC stayed in regular contact with people in conflict-affected areas of Mindanao where COVID-19 related movement restrictions and sporadic fighting resulted in compounded negative effects for vulnerable populations.

We have been monitoring the situation in those areas to assess the situation with regards to safety of civilians and healthcare workers, but also to determine how the ICRC could assist in a coordinated way the most vulnerable people who have limited options to engage in economic activities.

In its role as a neutral and impartial humanitarian organization, the ICRC has engaged with the parties to the armed conflict to remind them of their obligations with regard to international humanitarian law (IHL), in particular the provisions most relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic situation.

In Mindanao and in the National Capital Region (NCR) we provided material support, training and expert advice to support the work of the key health facilities, Red Cross and medico-legal departments.

This is the second overview of the ongoing ICRC activities in the country, where our expertise, resources and existing relationships continued to bring a distinct added-value for those most at risk. The information in this document is up to date as of 31 May 2020.

To see the full infographic about our COVID-19 response, please download the PDF file below.