WFP Philippines Situation Report # 1 – Armed conflict in Mindanao, March 30, 2021 – Philippines

In numbers

66,019 displaced people (13,570 families) hosted in 55 evacuation camps in 10 municipalities

Strong points

  • WFP will provide logistical support to the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in the Muslim Government of Mindanao (BARMM). WFP will strengthen the movement of food and non-food items from the government emergency operations center to evacuation camps.

  • WFP helps coordinate food security and logistics.

Update of the situation

  • The conflict between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) resumed on March 18, 2021. Exchanges of fire and mortar shells forced thousands of residents to flee their homes in towns and cities. of Shariff Aguak, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Mamasapano, and Datu Salibo, (also known as the SPMS box – an area where the BIFF operates, according to the military) and Shariff Saydona Mustapha. Sporadic skirmishes were also reported outside the SPMS area (municipalities of Guindulungan and Datu Hoffer).

  • The SPMS box was affected by military operations against the BIFF group in 2019, which continued until 2020. The United Nations Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) expects prolonged fighting and new displacements given the scale of the military operation.

  • According to the Ministry of Social Services, as of March 29, 2021, a total of 13,570 families or 66,019 people have been displaced and are staying in 55 evacuation camps and some with their relatives in 10 municipalities (Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, Datu Salibo, Shariff Aguak, Mamasapano,
    Datu Unsay, Datu Hoffer, Guindulungan, South Upi) in Maguindanao and in the municipality of Midsayap north of Cotabato.

  • An emergency operations center has been set up within the compound of the provincial capitol of Maguindanao to coordinate the humanitarian response.

Current humanitarian response

  • The Department of Social Services and Development organized an interagency assessment among BARMM agencies on March 19 and found that:

• the priority needs of the displaced are food, shelter, health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), protection and coordination and camp management (CCCM);

• the majority of displaced households engaged in peasant agriculture, fishing and petty trade;

• markets are accessible unless a movement or road closure is imposed. The nearest public markets are located in Shariff Aguak and Datu Piang. The makeshift markets (Talipapa) are also functional; o In evacuation camps, families usually share cooking utensils. Displaced populations resorted to improvised cooking utensils and firewood.

  • Following the assessment, the BARMM government began distributing food to displaced populations in the evacuation camps. Other humanitarian actors provided temporary shelter materials, sleeping kits, hygiene kits, cooking kits and water.