A day before the start of Ramadhan on 23 May 2017, firefights happened between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and local non-state armed actors, including members of the Maute Group led by Isnilon Hapilon, an Abu Sayyaf leader who has claimed allegiance to ISIS, in Marawi City in the province of Lanao del Sur, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The incident resulted in the immediate evacuation of nearly the entire population of Marawi City, which had 201,000 residents in 2015. Most fled to relatives and friends’ homes in nearby municipalities, with many arriving in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte province, 37 km to the north. By the evening of 23 May, President Rodrigo Duterte had declared martial law for the entire island of Mindanao to last 60 days.
The Region X and ARMM governments established a regional command and coordination centre in Iligan City on 27 May from which they coordinated the initial humanitarian response with support from national and international non-governmental organizations and UN agencies as requested. Nearly a month later, on 17 June, with no end to the conflict in sight and the number of displaced people exceeding 350,000 people, management of the response was elevated to the national level and coordination was transferred to the national response pillar clusters operating from a national emergency operations centre in Iligan City.
As of 5 July, about 353,000 people from Marawi City and 22 other municipalities are currently displaced by the conflict, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development. There are about 18,000 (5 per cent) people staying in 78 designated evacuation centres, while the rest are staying with host families or in other temporary shelters.
When news of conflict and displacement were broadcasted, The Moropreneur Inc immediately activated its Humanitarian Response Team.
On 27 May 2017, TMI-HRT led by the Executive Director Selahuddin Yu Hashim went to Iligan, Baloi, Pantar and Saguiaran evacuation centres to conduct rapid needs assessment on the condition of the IDPs. The highlights of the needs identified are as follows:
- Usual evacuation centers are gymnasium or class rooms which lack proper ventilation. As the number of IDPs in ECs increased, many of them expressed concern regarding congestion and the quality of the environment where they are staying. They fear that the intense heat (most of them are used to live in cold weather since Marawi City has a lower temperature) inside the EC and the cold concrete floor where they sleep would cause health problems especially among the pregnant, lactating, infants, young children and the elders.
- Many of the relief goods provided to them are consist of rice and canned foods which require kitchen utensils, water and other materials to be cooked. While these are essentials, these materials and tools are not readily present and these poised difficulties to the evacuees. Centralized kitchens were readily set-up in some ECs, i.e. in Buruun School of Fishery in Iligan City, but the number of the IDPs is too high to its capacity. In some instance, this situation has created tensions among IDPs. Others have asked to have fresh vegetables, fruits and fishes in their relief package. About 69,500 people in farming households will face further food insecurity if they are unable to restart rice and corn farming in the next planting season.
- Many of the IDPs were able to bring only few household items and were not able to bring enough clothe, hygiene items and other personal needs. They’ve expressed that non-food items such as apparels and hygiene items are vital for them to survive.
- A lot of women especially those who are lactating and pregnant find it difficult to continue the ideal infant feeding practices such as breastfeeding because of their anxieties and the lack of a space for them to do these. In several ECs, many of them reported that they have stopped breastfeeding their infants for fear that their current state (i.e. difficult situation) decreases the flow of the breast milk hence they resort to bottle feeding since these are provided in the relief packages (infant formula and bottles). An estimated 15,000 children aged 6-59 months are at risk of acute malnutrition.
- Since the firefights have no indication of ending in few months, many of the IDPs have raised concern regarding their livelihood. All of their properties and businesses were left behind. They have limited resources to begin an income generating activity and all of their documents were also left. About 117,960 displaced workforce are at risk of adopting negative coping strategies due to lack of employment and livelihood opportunities.
ANGAT MARAWI: Emergency and Early
In response to the situation and identified needs, The Moropreneur Inc with support from various partners, launched the ANGAT Marawi Program – an inter-phased two-year Emergency and Early Recovery Program that aims to help the affected local government facilitate the transition from humanitarian/early recovery to rehabilitation and recovery
of the displaced families.
TMI believes that there is a need to immediately respond to the urgent needs of the displaced families as they continue to experience depressed living conditions, security concerns, financial insecurity and uncertain futures. These, if not met immediately may result to even worst situations including the proliferation of extremism. Hence, TMI is working closely with various agencies and the Mindanao Humanitarian team to enable more people rebuild their lives, faster, in accordance with the fundamental standards of human rights and dignity.
Specifically, the ANGAT Marawi aims to achieve the following:
- Provide safe spaces especially for pregnant, lactating, infants, young children and elder women;
- Promote appropriate and culturally-sensitive infant and young child feeding practices;
- Ensure good health and nutrition of displaced families; and,
- Enhance the ability of the displaced families to withstand and recover from such stresses and shocks.
TMI-Humanitarian Response and Coordination Team
TMI-HRCT is composed of TMI’s personnel that are responsible in the assessment, planning, implementation and monitoring and evaluation of the emergency and recovery program. The Structure is as follows: 1 ED; 1 Humanitarian Coordinator: 1 Food Security and Livelihood Officer; 1 Health and Nutrition Officer and the Community Volunteers
Program Outputs and Target Beneficiaries
The ANGAT Marawi Program aims to achieve the following outputs:
- Established 10 women, infant and young children safe spaces;
- Around 5,000 women (pregnant, lactating and adolescent) were counselled on infant and young child feeding practices;
- A total of 10,000 families (men, women, and children) received Psychosocial Support Services; Sanitary and Hygiene Care Packs;
- Provision of nutritious and culturally-sensitive Food and Non-food items; and,
- Established 100 micro-enterprises.
Guiding Principles of the ANGAT Marawi
- Always conduct initial assessments of needs and capacity to ensure that emergency response builds on existing mechanisms and capacities and does not set up parallel systems;
- Use and promote participatory practices to identify needs, build capacities for empowering communities and create the foundations for sustained and meaningful participation throughout all phases of the response;
- Ensure government and community ownership of the Early Recovery process through full engagement in the planning, execution, and monitoring of recovery actions.
- Do no harm through the ‘what’ and the ‘how’ of emergency response.
- Include risk reduction and conflict prevention measures in programming.
CALL FOR DONATIONS
The Moropreneur Inc will not be able to provide the interventions without the support of the following partners and their contribution:
- Peace and Equity Foundation – P250,000.00
- Anak Mindanao – P365,000.00
- Islamic Relief Worldwide Philippines – P108,000.00 (40,000 has been downloaded already)
- Filipino Students of Hiroshima University and Hiroshima Islamic Cultural Centers – P50,000.00
- Laoanen: Women Stand for Marawi organized by Gantala Press – P5,000.00
- Mr and Mrs Ali gan and Joy Sarigumba – P10,000.00
- Mr and Mrs Tawti Manongkarang – P5,000.00
- Atty. Bai Ashrafia Alonto Biruar – P3,000.00
- Ms. Nahea Abubacar Mohammad – P2,000.00
- Mr. Zhamir M. Umag – P2,000.00
- Ms. Norma B. Cumilao – P1,000.00
A total of PhP 819,000.00 cash donation was received by the The Moropreneur Inc. This is 16.38% of the funding requirement for the 2-yr planned Early Recovery Program which totals to P5,000,000.00.
TMI is also indebted to its partners in implementing some of the activities especially on the IYCF and Nutrition component:
- Modern Nanays of Mindanao
- Office of the Cabinet Secretary of ARMM
- TMI Personnel and Volunteers