The European Commission has allocated €2 million in humanitarian aid funding to provide life-saving assistance to those most in need in the conflict-prone southern province of Mindanao. Home to several armed groups fighting against the government, Mindanao continues to witness prolonged armed violence.
“Hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee their homes due to continued conflict in the Mindanao region. They left everything behind and are struggling to sustain their day-to-day lives,” said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides. “This assistance underlines the EU's solidarity with the people of the Philippines. It will ensure that the most vulnerable have sufficient means to get through these difficult times.”
The ongoing violence in Mindanao has resulted in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. With access to basic services hampered and livelihoods disrupted, humanitarian needs in the region remain high. According to the latest data available, at least 500 000 people are currently in need of humanitarian assistance in the region, including more than 270 000 displaced people and some 100 000 out-of-school children.
The EU funding, channelled through the European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), will help address the needs of the affected populations, including displaced families and members of host communities. The aid will focus on the provision of food, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene assistance, emergency education, and increased protection of the impacted communities.
Since the first humanitarian operations in 1996, the EU has allocated over €117 million in emergency assistance to victims of conflict and natural disasters in the Philippines.
The Mindanao conflict has been classified by the European Commission's department for humanitarian aid as a ‘forgotten crisis’ due to insufficient media coverage and support from the international community, although the humanitarian needs in the region remain extremely high.