IOM Supports Return of Marawi Displaced in Southern Philippines After Conflict Ends
Marawi City – The Government of the Philippines, with support of IOM, the UN Migration Agency, last week (29/10) started returning thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) back to Marawi, on the southern island of Mindanao, after the end of clashes between government forces and armed groups.
As of 4 November, over 20,000 IDPs had been assisted to return to nine barangays (neighbourhoods). IOM has so far mobilized 20 vans daily for six days and distributed food and water to 18,000 of the returning IDPs. The process is expected to last up to six months.
There are 353,626 individuals or 77,175 families displaced from Marawi after conflict flared up on 23 May 2017 between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and ISIS-inspired Maute Group, prompting the Government to declare martial law in Mindanao.
From the onset of the conflict, IOM provided much needed humanitarian aid in the form of Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) support such as training for camp managers, local government units, NGOs and IDP leaders, tracking of needs inside the evacuation centres using the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) tool, setting up alternative dwelling spaces (ADS) to decongest evacuation centres and upgrading camp facilities.
In the months since the crisis, IOM has provided ADS, privacy partitions, multipurpose halls and CCCM welfare desks for 10 evacuation centres in the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur. To strengthen camp management staff, IOM provided CCCM training to 145 camp managers and 160 IDP leaders, as well as 120 local government personnel.
IOM partnered with Maranao People Development Center, Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits and Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology to implement the DTM. Using the information management tool, the needs, gaps and concerns were tracked for 87,408 IDPs – including 48,547 children and 45,919 women – settling in evacuation centres and home-based sites in five locations prioritized by IOM: Iligan City, Balo-i, Pantao Ragat, Pantar and Saguiaran.
Besides providing transportation for IDPs, IOM is working in close partnership with the Task Force Bangon Marawi, Department of Social Welfare and Development, AFP, and Local Government Units of Marawi and the five municipalities where IOM operates.
“After the declaration of Marawi’s liberation on 17 October 2017, IOM is now assisting the authorities to facilitate the return of the IDPs to their respective places of origin. The returns are being done in phases to facilitate an orderly and secured return of the IDPs,” said Conrad Navidad, IOM Philippines CCCM Programme Coordinator.
With the ongoing clearing operations by the military, the government identified the first nine barangays that IDPs can now return to, after they were cleared for unexploded ordnance. These are Matampay, Tampilong, Panggao Saduc, Datu Saber, Bo Green, Moriataw Luksadatu, Marawi Poblacion, East Basak and Basak Malutlut. These barangays experienced the least damage from the conflict, allowing IDPs to safely return.
The IOM Marawi response is funded by the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). Once the clearing operations are completed, especially in the main location affected by fighting and the transitional shelters for families living are constructed, all IDPs are expected to return by middle of next year.
For more information, please contact Conrado Navidad, IOM Philippines, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org