Philippines: UN agency boosting food aid to over 200,000 displaced by conflict

Philippines: UN agency boosting food aid to over 200,000 displaced by conflict

Some of the displaced queue up for food assistance in Mindanao
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said today it is scaling up food assistance to more than 220,000 people displaced by fighting in southern Mindanao between Philippine Government troops and forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) said today it is scaling up food assistance to more than 220,000 people displaced by fighting in southern Mindanao between Philippine Government troops and forces of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

The agency is delivering nearly 1,000 metric tons of rice – around one month’s ration – to civilians caught up in the conflict, it announced in a news release.

WFP is responding to a request from the Government to provide food assistance to meet urgent needs among the hundreds of thousands of people affected by the sudden upsurge in violence in southern Mindanao,” said Stephen Anderson, WFP Philippines Country Director.

“We have rice stocks at a warehouse in Cotabato, close to the affected area, and we’ve acted quickly to move food out to where it is most needed,” he added.

WFP has so far dispatched some 650 metric tons of rice to 160,000 displaced families from Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato. Another 250 metric tons of rice is being delivered to some 60,000 people in the provinces of Maguindanao and Shariff Kabunsuan, who have been newly displaced by the conflict.

Staff from the agency’s sub-offices in Iligan and Cotabato City are assessing the areas affected by the conflict to figure out a long-term and targeted response to the upsurge in violence in Mindanao.