ARMM provides food supply, diapers to Marawi evacuees

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News - (Bureau of Public Information)

MARAWI CITY – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) handed over food aid for tens of thousands of Marawi City evacuees that will last them for two weeks.

ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman led the turnover of food packs to the local governments of Lanao del Sur, Marawi City and the town of Saguiaran for over 33,000 evacuees.

He said a single food pack contains 25 kilos of rice, a kilo of monggo, fresh and dried fish, 10 canned goods and two dozens 3-in-1 coffee. It is intended to meet the food requirements of a family of four for at least two weeks.

Hataman said additional deliveries will be made to the local governments in the coming days to complete the total number of food packs. He said they have asked the help of the local governments in the distribution of the food packs to ensure that the assistance will reach the beneficiaries as quickly as possible.

The fighting in Marawi City, which is now on its seventh week, has displaced more than 246,000 residents. The more than 33,000 recipient families of the food packs are the displaced families who are known to be staying in Lanao del Sur, either house-based or in the different evacuation centers.

Jo Henry, communications officer of the ARMM’S Humanitarian and Emergency Action Response Team (HEART), said the recipient families were identified and evaluated through the Disaster Assistance and Family Access Card (DAFAC) system. The government is using the DAFAC system to evaluate the status and appropriate needs of affected families and ensure efficient relief distribution.

Henry said that on instruction from regional governor, the ARMM-HEART started distributing the two weeks food packs to families with Disaster Assistance Family Access Card (DAFAC) in the days leading to end of Ramadan last month so that the families will have something to prepare for the celebration if the Eid’l Fitr. In addition to its humanitarian and relief operations, the ARMM government is also assisting in drawing up plans for the recovery, reconstruction and rehabilitation of Marawi City and other affected areas.

The task force created by President Rodrigo Duterte to oversee this operation, the Task Force Bangon Marawi, will be coordinating its efforts with the regional government. Hataman said government agencies must come together and work in solidarity with other stakeholders to deal with the damage of the Marawi crisis to infrastructures and civilian lives. (Bureau of Public Information)

Diaper donation drive

ARMM also said that about 80,000 cloth and disposable diapers have been distributed to lactating mothers as part of the continuing humanitarian assistance to affected residents in Marawi City.

The recipients were nursing mothers currently in evacuation centers as well as those staying in their relatives’ houses. Various ARMM line agencies and private donors from Metro Manila and Cotabato City donated the diapers.

ARMM’S Cabinet Secretary Khal Campong said the drive started since the first day of the Marawi siege on May 23 to help parents provide diapers for their babies. “As part of the ARMM'S Crisis Management Committee, and as a mother, ito yung naisip namin na ibigay dahil gusto namin matulungan yung mga parents na hirap maghanap ng diapers for their babies dahil walang mabilihan," Campong said.

She reiterated the importance of diapers to keep the babies clean, dry and healthy. The fifth batch of diapers was distributed on July 10 in evacuation centers in Lanao del Sur. The diapers came from the different agencies of the ARMM, the Philippine Business for Social Progress, and private donors outside the ARMM.

“Kailangan talaga namin ng diaper para sa baby ko; wala kaming pambili kaya naghihintay na lang kami na may pupunta dito sa amin at magbibigay ng diaper,” said Kuray Datu Ma-as, one of the thousands of

displaced Marawi residents staying at the evacuation center in Saguriaran municipality.

Dr. Kadil Sinolinding Jr., ARMM’S Health Secretary, said: “These diapers in difficult situations, such as the unexpected displacement of families, give parents a sigh of relief on easier management of their children’s wastes when the water supply is scarce and sanitary disposal poses a challenge.”

“For the Health department, it is a better alternative that allows parents to focus on more important things while sanitary disposal is afforded for their children,” Dr. Sinolinding said, adding, unsanitary practices could even lead to serious infections among babies.

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