Clashes between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and a faction of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) on March 18 has displaced more than 3,000 individuals in several municipalities in Maguindanao: Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Shariff Saidona Mustapha, Shariff Aguak, and Mamasapano.
“Based on the information gathered, the fighting is still ongoing. This will result in more people forced to leave their homes for safety,” said Delilah Chua, Head of Base for Cotabato. “Just in a span of one day, we have seen the number of families practically doubling in number. When we validated the Pendililang evacuation center on March 20, it was 269. The next day, the number jumped to 419. In the Barangay Salbu evacuation center, the same thing happened as well: from 271 it increased to 425 the very next day.”
In response, Action Against Hunger Philippines with funding from the USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance and logistical support from the EU Civil Protection & Humanitarian Aid – ECHO, provided emergency non-food items and hygiene kits to a total of 540 families temporarily taking refuge in Datu Pendililang Piang Elementary School and Mahad Madrasa in Barangay Salbu.