European Commission provides €3 million in humanitarian aid in Mindanao

The European Commission has allocated €3 million in humanitarian aid to assist the most vulnerable people affected by the conflict between the Philippines’ armed forces and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front on the island of Mindanao.
More than 240,000 people are internally displaced in Mindanao, most of them living in very difficult conditions in evacuation centres, at relocation sites or with host families. The Commission’s relief assistance covers food aid and nutritional surveillance – including feeding programmes for children – as well as basic health care, water and sanitation, shelter, protection and psycho-social activities for displaced children who rarely attend school. All funds are channelled through the Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department under the responsibility of Commissioner Louis Michel. Relief projects are implemented by non-governmental organisations, specialised UN agencies and the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement.
Louis Michel, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, said: “The internal conflict in Mindanao does not get much attention in the international media. But the people who are in need there can be assured of our attention. The Commission’s humanitarian aid is entirely needs-based and our support is necessary to tackle the deteriorating humanitarian situation of the many displaced on the island.”
The Commission’s humanitarian assistance complements the aid efforts by the government of the Philippines (as well as some contributions from other international donors). A recent monitoring and assessment mission by humanitarian aid experts from the Commission confirmed the necessity of its response.
In 2008, the Commission adopted two emergency decisions worth €6.5 million to support the victims of the Mindanao conflict. In addition to its support in Mindanao, the Commission’s humanitarian aid department is also running a disaster preparedness programme (DIPECHO) in the Philippines to improve the capacities of communities prone to natural disasters, so that they are able to better prepare and protect themselves. Around €2 million of the €10 million DIPECHO action plan for South East Asia, adopted in 2008, is for projects in the Philippines.