ICRC: Supporting people affected by conflict and Covid-19 in Mindanao
By : Mindanao Today/08:40:46am 08/24/2021
Photo shows some of the individuals who receive help from the International Committee of the Red Cross. (Photo courtesy of ICRC)
THE Covid-19 pandemic continued to pose major challenges to the Philippines.
Despite the vaccination rollout, there were case surges due to new variant threats.
To help overwhelmed health systems, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) ensured protective equipment for health workers in Covid-19 referral hospitals in Mindanao, and in isolation centers for detainees.
It also quickly assisted the Philippine Red Cross’ (PRC) Covid-19 response in support of government efforts to address the surge.
Meanwhile, armed conflicts displaced thousands of people in Maguindanao, Caraga, Northern Mindanao and Zambasulta regions; while many others still bear the long-term consequences of the 2017 Marawi conflict.
The ICRC, often in partnership with the PRC, provided relief items and clean water for displaced families; and distributed cash grants and micro-economic initiatives to revive livelihoods.
It recently launched the ICRC Community Contact Center to allow community members to systematically reach out to the ICRC about its services and get feedback, illustrating its commitment to be accountable to affected people.
The ICRC also resumed its operational visits in the Visayas, aimed at addressing the consequences of conflict on civilians in Samar and Negros islands.
In the most congested detention facilities, efforts to enhance detainees’ overall access to clean water, sanitation and healthcare—particularly for those with tuberculosis or were undernourished—were reinvigorated by support to and dialogue with detention authorities.
High-level and field operational dialogue with state forces (and some non-state armed groups) intensified through technical working groups aimed at preventing or raising concerns regarding potential international humanitarian law (IHL) violations.
This is alongside endeavors to promote better understanding and appreciation of the rules of war, domestic laws, and relevance with Islamic law, among the judiciary, academe, and religious leaders. (PR)