EU earmarks 2-M euros for conflict victims in Mindanao

MANILA The European Commission has allocated 2 million euros or roughly PHP121.7 million in humanitarian aid to provide life-saving assistance to people living in the conflict-torn southern province of Mindanao.

Hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee their homes due to continued conflict in the Mindanao region. They left everything behind and are struggling to sustain their day-to-day lives, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said.

This assistance underlines the EU's solidarity with the people of the Philippines. It will ensure that the most vulnerable have sufficient means to get through these difficult times, Stylianides said.

The announcement, coursed through the EU Delegation in Manila, cited the violence in southern Mindanao, which has already resulted in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people.

The EU noted that at least 500,000 people are currently in need of humanitarian assistance in the region, including the more than 270,000 displaced people and some 100,000 out-of-school children in the area.

"With access to basic services hampered and livelihoods disrupted, humanitarian needs in the region remain high. Most recently, fighting between government forces and armed groups have displaced over 50,000 people since the beginning of July," the delegation said.

The EU funding, channeled through the European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO), will focus on the provision of crucial support, including food, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene assistance, and emergency education, as well as increased protection of affected communities.

Since the first humanitarian operations in 1996, the EU has allocated more than 117 million euros in emergency assistance to victims of conflict and natural disasters in the Philippines. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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