ICRC distributes emergency health kits to IDPs in Maguindanao 

COTABATO COTY — Thousands of families from five towns of Maguindanao remain displaced due to recent armed clashes between government security forces and a non-state armed group that started last March 18, 2021.
The displaced residents, majority of them Muslims who are preparing for Ramadhan, are now seeking shelter in 44 evacuation centers or with host families. This appears to be the largest displacement in this area since March 2017, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) report said.

To help these families cope with the difficulty of displacement, the ICRC distributed hygiene kits and essential household items to around 8,200 people (1,641 families) from Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Maguindanao, with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).

During the distributions held from 3-5 April 2021, masks were required while alcohol disinfectant was provided to the displaced families. The distribution was also held in batches to avoid overcrowding.

To assist health providers already burdened by COVID-19, the ICRC provided emergency health kits containing medicines and medical materials that can support 15,000 people for three months, to five rural health units (RHU) and the Integrated Provincial Health Office-Maguindanao.

The ICRC, a neutral and impartial humanitarian organization, reminds all parties to the conflict to take measures to spare civilians from the fighting, especially as COVID-19 continues to be an additional burden to them. Civilians are not part of the fighting and must be protected at all times.