August 18, 2012 News: The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has praised the United Nations World Food Programme (UN-WFP) for providing basic help to the evacuees recently displaced by the fighting initiated by the so-called Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM)-Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF).
As a result of the attack, the group elicited condemnations from several quarters, including the MILF which described the offensive as ill-timed during Ramadan and as sabotage to the government-MILF peace negotiation.
Sheikh Mohammad Muntassir, head of the MILF Da’wah Committee, described the ration given to these evacuees as something that came when it was most needed, saying the evacuees can hardly survive when they have to flee hastily due to the sudden fighting.
He said some of the evacuees had fled with only the clothes in their bodies, practically leaving everything behind.
The rations, comprised of noodles, canned sardines, milk, coffee and cereals provided by the executive department of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the World Food Programme (WFP) were delivered to relief sites in the conflict-stricken towns of Datu Saudi, Shariff Aguak and Datu Hoffer.
Number of evacuees is estimated at around 30,000, about half are women and children, all cramped up in squalid evacuation sites in Datu Saudi, Shariff Aguak, Datu Unsay, Datu Hoffer and Guindulungan towns, all in Maguindanao.
The WFP is the food assistance branch of the United Nations, and the world's largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger worldwide. It provides food, on average, to 90 million people per year, 58 million of whom are children. From its headquarters in Rome and more than 80 country offices around the world, WFP works to help people who are unable to produce or obtain enough food for themselves and their families. It is a member of the United Nations Development Group and part of its Executive Committee.
WFP’s local head in Maguindanao is Mishael Aragonza, who hails from Luzon but does his job without favor.