Refugee International report on IDPs in the Philippines
In September 2013, fighting between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and a Muslim rebel group in the port city of Zamboanga on Mindanao forced 120,000 people – primarily minority Muslims – to flee. More than a year later, tens of thousands remain displaced, living in deplorable conditions. Having endured overcrowded, unsanitary, and unsafe evacuation centers in which they initially sought refuge, they now are being sent to transitional sites that lack water, health, education, and livelihoods. Worse yet, now that another major typhoon has hit the Philippines, attention and resources are likely to shift away from the crisis. Rather than continuing to neglect their urgent needs, the Philippine government, with the support of the United Nations and donors, must prioritize finding durable solutions for Zamboanga’s forgotten IDPs and recognize that doing so is an important step in the region’s peace and reconciliation process.
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