Tens of thousands displaced in Southern Philippines as violence continues

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Displaced family in the Philippines (Credit: OCHA)

The situation in Zamboanga city, southern Philippines, and its surrounding areas is now a humanitarian crisis, as tens of thousands of people remain forcibly displaced, according to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines, Luiza Carvalho, expressed her concerns for the plight of the displaced people saying, "We are increasingly alarmed by the situation and the growing needs of people caught up with violence," adding, "We are particularly concerned for the most vulnerable, especially the well-being of women and children."

The ongoing standoff between a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and Government forces has left approximately 132 people dead, with roughly 158,000 people affected and over 10,000 homes destroyed.

The humanitarian coordinator said people are struggling to survive with around 70,000 staying in the main sports complex in Zamboanga city, in desperately overcrowded conditions and insufficient sanitation facilities. She warned that there is a real risk of a disease outbreak with food, drinking water, health services, cooking utensils, tents and other necessities required, adding that the health and protection of women and children is of increasing concern.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’13″

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