MANILA — The European Union (EU) pledges to help displaced people in Zamboanga another P14.8 million or EUR 250,000, EU Delegation to the Philippines announced Monday.
EU Delegation to the Philippines Ambassador Guy Ledoux said the Union’s decision to increase its assistance to the Zamboanga siege refuge is based on the recent assessment mission there.
“We found that eight months after the crisis, some 3,800 families are still living in very difficult conditions. Our assistance aims at assisting at least 1,500 of the most vulnerable people and providing relief until the authorities can provide a more permanent solution for the displaced,” Ledoux mentioned.
According to the EU Delegation here, the additional assistance aims to decongest overcrowded Emergency Centers in six months by transferring 300 families to transitional sites where they will be provided of materials to build their new shelters.
The six-month project also targets to improve access to clean and safe water and introduce sanitation and hygiene program.
“The threat of water-borne diseases will be addressed through the construction of more sanitation facilities and the desludging of septic tanks. Proper hygiene and sanitation practices will also be promoted amongst the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) through the establishment of water and sanitation committees,” the EU explained.
Acute malnutrition treatment will also be given to children ages five and below and to pregnant and lactating woman which aims to reduce high malnutrition rate in Zamboanga.
“According to local authorities some 40 percent of the IDPs are children. Some 9 000 children have no access to regular schooling making them susceptible to abuse, neglect and violence. The project will establish Youth-Friendly Spaces and raise awareness amongst the IDPs of the dangers of human trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and minors,” added EU.
Meanwhile, the additional funding is made available by European Union’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) and the whole project will be implemented by a consortium of aid organizations, led by the Spanish NGO “Acción Contra el Hambre” (ACF-Spain) and including IOM and PLAN- International.
A month after the Zamboanga siege, EU already provided aid worth of P17 million.