IOM supports thousands displaced by unrest in the southern Philippines
Zamboanga, the sixth largest city in the Philippines, was the scene of violent clashes between the Moro National Liberation Front and the national army in September. Some 130,000 people fled form the fighting, ending up in displaced camps in schools, a local sports stadium, or in tents and shelters along the sea front. IOM has been active since the beginning of the emergency, taking on the co-lead role with the Government for Camp Coordination and Management, and distributing vital relief items such as tents, tarpaulins, solar lamps, cooking stoves and charcoal, and beginning the construction of bunkhouses. The congestion at the stadium has eased somewhat but it is still home to over 20,000 of the 75,000 people still displaced. Their safe shelter is a priority for the government and relief organisations working in Zamboanga.