DSWD: Improvements needed in shelters for Marawi evacuees


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DSWD: Improvements needed in shelters for Marawi evacuees
'We need to improve our camp management to incorporate child-friendly spaces, breastfeeding nooks, and prayer rooms,' says Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said it will work with local government units (LGUs) and other government agencies to better manage evacuation centers as well as provide improved services to families displaced by the Marawi City crisis.

“We need to improve our camp management to incorporate child-friendly spaces, breastfeeding nooks, and prayer rooms, especially that most of the evacuees are Muslims who are observing the Ramadan,” DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said on Wednesday, May 31.

Taguiwalo had led the distribution of non-food items and cooking utensils on Tuesday, May 30, to enable evacuees to cook their own food.

“The provision of cooking utensils is especially important because it is Ramadan and our Maranao kababayans (countrymen) are fasting and have their own ways of how and when to break their fast,” the DSWD chief said.

The crisis in Marawi City started with a military raid on May 23. Clashes erupted between soldiers and terrorists from the Maute Group, driving away thousands of families.

“Maraming mga senior citizens at mga bata, kasama na ang mga sanggol, sa evacuation centers. Kaya naman laging nakatuon ang pansin ng DSWD sa mga kababayan nating evacuees at aalalayan sila hangga’t kailangan nila ang ating tulong at hangga’t hindi sila nakakabalik sa kanilang mga tirahan,” Taguiwalo said.

(There are many senior citizens, children, and infants in the evacuation centers. This is why we are continuously monitoring the condition of the evacuees and assisting them until they can finally return to their respective homes.)

Assistance provided

The DSWD has so far provided P36,377,610 worth of relief assistance to the evacuees.

Each family food pack contains 6 kilos of rice, 4 cans of corned beef, 4 cans of sardines, and 6 sachets of coffee. Also being distributed are high-energy biscuits, bottled water, dignity kits, sleeping mats, blankets, malong, mosquito nets, and kitchen utensils.

The DSWD Central Office has also provided a total of P60,055,000 to its field offices in Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Soccsksargen, and Caraga.

According to the report of the DSWD-Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau (DReAMB) as of 6 am on Wednesday, the number of affected residents in Marawi City has increased to 92,628 people or 18,609 families. Of this number, 13,194 people or 2,722 families are staying in 22 evacuation centers in Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur.

“Patuloy po nating inaabutan ng tulong ang mga kababayan nating naapektuhan ng armadong tunggalian na nasa evacuation centers at iyong tumutuloy sa kanilang mga kaibigan at kamag-anak. Ginagawa natin ang lahat upang maabot at mahatiran ng tulong ang lahat ng apektado lalo na iyong wala sa [evacuation centers],” Taguiwalo said.

(We are continuously extending aid to our countrymen affected by the armed conflict, those in the evacuation centers and those staying with their friends and relatives. We are doing our best to reach and help all affected residents, especially those outside the evacuation centers.) – Rappler.com

If you want to help internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Marawi City or if you have reports about their humanitarian needs like temporary shelter, relief goods, water, and hygiene kits, post them on the Agos map, text to 2929 (SMART and SUN), or tag MovePH on Twitter or Facebook. You may also link up with other organizations that called for donations.

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