ICRC helps civilians in Marawi City

Cotabato City – On Friday, May 26 - a day before Ramadan, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in the Philippines has finally accessed the civilians in Marawi City who are stranded and in trauma. “This morning, our team has finally entered Marawi City and delivered 1,000 water jugs to the displaced families at the provincial capitol, and transported at least 300 residents from Marawi to the evacuation center in Saguiaran,” said Pascal Porchet, Head of Delegation of the ICRC in the country.

The ICRC said that these are made possible through the help of various stakeholders.

“The situation is very fluid. Residents are moving in and out of Marawi, and we are seriously concerned about those who are trapped or have chosen to stay in the city and are in need of food and water. This is currently a challenge for our teams on the ground as they assess the situation in order to have a clear picture of the number of displaced people and their needs,” he added. 

According to the ICRC, they have prepositioned medical supplies in Iligan City to reinforce the capacity of rural health units in addressing the basic health needs of displaced people. These supplies include basic medicines, antibiotics, dressing materials; as well as injectable medication and intravenous fluids that can support 30,000 people in three months. 

In its news release, ICRC said that “medical items to treat wounded people have also been dispatched, for hospitals that may need replenishment. In addition, food, essential household items and hygiene kits will be dispatched this afternoon to Iligan from the ICRC warehouse in Davao for prepositioning.” 

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) chapters in Marawi and Iligan cities have also received first-aid bags, dressing, and resources for the mobilization of PRC’s volunteer coming from ICRC for their response if needed. 

The ICRC’s Head of Delegation also urged the warring parties in Marawi City to take the necessary precautions to spare civilians and their properties. 

“International Humanitarian Law (IHL) remains applicable in this situation, even after the declaration of martial law in Mindanao. As such, it must be respected at all times and by all the parties. People who may be arrested must be treated humanely and the ICRC will continue to monitor their conditions and treatment,” he pointed out.