NOTE: Sharing this information disseminated by Mr. Richard Higgins of the UN-HCT on October 17, 2017. This was sent on behalf of Ms. Akiko Yoshida, acting OCHA-Philippines head.

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Dear Colleagues,

I am pleased to share the latest update on the conflict in Marawi City and the humanitarian response, covering the period from 22 September to 17 October. It was produced by OCHA in collaboration with humanitarian partners. The next update will be issued on or around 17 November.

The 3W (which responding organizations are doing what and where) was updated on 13 October. An infographic summarizing the activities is attached, while an interactive version is available online. The next 3W will be available on or around 17 November.

Situation update

While the fighting continues in Marawi City, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana issued a press statement on 16 October, confirming the deaths of Isnilon Hapilon, the Abu Sayyaf Group leader alleged to have led the armed revolt that instigated the conflict, and Omar Maute, one of the leaders of the local non-state armed group that has been a main party to the conflict. President Duterte, while visiting Marawi City on 17 October, declared the city to be liberated, but fighting continues according to the military, which estimates about 20 hostages and 60 members of the ISIS-inspired armed group remain in the conflict zone.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) figure for total displacement remains unchanged at 359,680 people. However, figures from Region X and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) authorities indicate a total of at least 417,315 people displaced as of 5 October—a difference of more than 57,400 people, mostly in Region X. With issues of exclusion of some displaced people from registering with DSWD’s Disaster Assistance Family Access Card (DAFAC) database continuing to surface, the Task Force Bangon Marawi sub-committee of social welfare and health, which met for the first time on 14 October, agreed that the municipal and provincial authorities should revalidate the registrations locally for submission via the regional DSWD offices to the national DSWD office for consolidation.

DSWD notes 68 recognized evacuation centres (down from 73 in September) hosting about 10,000 families or 49,500 people (approximately 14 per cent of the total displaced) in the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur as of 6 October. At the same time, the Maranao People Development Center, a local non-governmental organization (NGO) that partners with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), reports about 136 shelter sites in the two provinces, including informal sites not officially recognized by the national government, hosting about 12,280 households or 61,000 people (approximately 15 per cent of the total displaced).

Host families, with whom the majority of the displaced are living, share their homes with eight displaced families on average, according to a 3 October report from IOM. The organization is focusing its displacement tracking matrix activities on five priority locations: the city of Iligan and the municipalities of Balo-i, Pantao Ragat and Pantar in Lanao del Norte; and the municipality of Saguiaran in Lanao del Sur.

Cumulatively, 71 deaths among those displaced have been validated as of 13 October by the Department of Health (DOH). The top causes of death were pneumonia, sepsis, chronic hypertension,cardiovascular diseases, acute gastroenteritis and prematurity. Acute respiratory infection, skin diseases, hypertension, acute gastroenteritis and fevers continue to be the top causes for medical consultations.

Some have started to return to areas of Marawi City considered unaffected by the ongoing conflict. The first area to open comprised ten barangays near Sagonsongan, the proposed transition site, near the border with Saguiaran. The second, which opened on 22 August, included six barangays in the vicinity of the Mindanao State University campus. The next area to be opened is eight barangays around the provincial capitol. The Government says it will provide a one-month’s supply of food packs and non-food items, including blankets, kitchen items and hygiene kits to those who return. The Marawi City government is leading the return process, including preparing for psychosocial support services to returnees.

International, government and NGO responders continue to re-assess the situation to meet the humanitarian and transitional needs of those displaced. On 29 September, the Mindanao Humanitarian Team (MHT) conducted a sector implementation planning workshop in Iligan City to identify needs, responses and gaps by sector for October through December, to develop recommendations for addressing the gaps, and to agree on monitoring and review processes. (The term “sector” is being used locally to distinguish the activities from the government-led clusters, which were formally deactivated at the handover to Task Force Bangon Marawi on 12 August.) Key highlights of the plan were presented to the task force and DSWD leadership on 7 October. Among the concerns raised include the need to strengthen coordination with responding government agencies and to access funding that will enable the provision of humanitarian assistance beyond December 2017. Meanwhile, the Government acknowledges inadequacies in transportation and logistics facilities, as well as the slow release of PHP3.3 billion (US$66 million), of which P3 billion ($60 million) was initially earmarked for Task Force Bangon Marawi’s disposition and provisioning, which is delaying the immediate procurement and smooth distribution of relief goods needed for the continuing response.

An inter-agency coalition of UN agencies, international and national NGOs and government agencies has conducted a child protection rapid assessment for the Marawi displacement to understand the priority child protection needs of affected children, youth and their families displaced in Region X and ARMM. Their findings will be presented on 20 October at a briefing at Plan International in Manila.The Mindanao Coalition of Development NGO Networks trained members in Cagayan de Oro on 3-4 October to conduct community consultations on the rehabilitation of Marawi City. Task Force Bangon Marawi, in preparation for a post-conflict needs, damage and loss assessment, led an orientation in Iligan City on 14-15 October for national, regional and local government personnel. It has also received a joint recovery, rehabilitation and peacebuilding plan for Marawi City and Lanao del Sur that was drafted on 28 September.

Insecurity and lack of access to areas around Lake Lanao and remote areas have restricted the ability to deliver needed humanitarian assistance to people displaced by the conflict. However, as of 16 October, areas around Lake Lanao, except for Marawi City, are now accessible for UN missions. The Armed Forces of the Philippines require 72-hours’ advance notification of intended travel to or through these areas.

Funding update

International contributions have reached $14.5 million as of 27 September against the total requirement of $24.8 million (58 per cent funded).

Humanitarian response

The following sector needs, responses, gaps and constraints were current as of 2 October, unless otherwise stated. The information below was sourced from sectoral inputs received by OCHA, as well as reports from DSWD, DOH and the Department of Education.

Camp coordination and camp management

Response:

DSWD is mobilizing its staff and youth volunteers to manage evacuation centres.  

Health, including reproductive health, mental health and psychosocial support services

Needs:

40 per cent of evacuation centres in Saguiaran, Pantar, Pantao Ragat and Balo-i do not have regular access to essential health services, including primary medical or surgical care, reproductive health, mental health and psychosocial support services.

Response:

Sector partners are providing reproductive health services, including distribution of clean delivery kits and dignity kits, to pregnant and lactating women in these municipalities. Youth peer counsellors in these municipalities have been trained in adolescent sexual and reproductive health, and outreachtargeted to girls and boys age 9 to 14. Sector partners continue to provide mental health andpsychosocial support services in schools and evacuation centres, as well as to displaced people staying with host families.

Gaps and constraints:

Partner organizations only have funding to provide health-related services to displaced people in these municipalities until mid-November. (Partners providing mental health and psychosocial support services are able to do so until December.) There is no mobile outreach for other municipalities hosting people displaced by the conflict. Pre-existing inadequacies in local health resources and infrastructure have limited the ability to deliver services in certain areas.

Nutrition

Response:

Severe acute malnutrition cases are being identified and referred for treatment.

Gaps and constraints:

Pre-crisis child malnourishment (49 per cent), vaccination (29 per cent) and food security (7.7 per cent) in Lanao del Sur was among the worst in the country. The limited numbers of trained health worker is constraining the coverage of emergency nutrition services and information for severe acute malnutrition cases. The targeted supplementary food programme is also only reaching a limited number of moderately malnourished children. Coordination among partners, including government agencies, needs to be strengthened. Monitoring and surveillance for severe acute malnutrition, especially in remote host communities, as well as supplemental feeding and targeted cash transfers will be needed for the next 6 to 12 months.

Protection, including gender-based violence and child protection

Needs:

Displaced people without birth certificates or other forms of civil documents need a recognized identification document to enable freedom of movement. Displaced people who are not included in the DAFAC registry have limited or no access to humanitarian assistance. Survivors of gender-based violence need immediate access to life-saving interventions.

Response:

PhilHealth identification cards are being issued to affected people in Iligan City, Saguiaran, Pantar, Pantao Ragat and Balo-i. The Government is replacing senior citizen identification cards to those who need them. Sector partners are working with SMART to broadcast protection-related referral and mine-risk awareness information in affected areas through December. Sector partners are providing post-rape treatment kits, including presumptive treatment for sexually transmitted diseases, through December. Operational women-friendly spaces are providing community-based patrolling, gender-based violence monitoring and referrals in evacuation centres and host communities in Saguiaran, Pantar, Pantao Ragat and Balo-i through November. Additional spaces are planned for Marantao and Piagapo. Partner organizations are conducting gender research in Saguiaran, Pantar, Pantao Ragat,Balo-i and Iligan City through December. Key stakeholders have received capacity-building support in child protection referrals, case management, family tracing and guardian capacity assessments. Sector partners including government agencies are providing children and adults mine-risk education. Assistive devices, case management and health service referrals are being provided to children with special needs.

Gaps and constraints:

Clear information is needed on any grievance mechanisms to address DAFAC exclusion cases. Affected people living with host families and those in remote areas need to be prioritized for assistance. There is a lack of information on housing, land a property matters for returnees, as well as information on those who have already returned to ensure their basic needs continue to be met. The Protection Forum needs to be reactivated to strengthen coordination among partners including government agencies. More monitoring is needed and focused support for children with special needs, orphans, at-risk children, out-of-school youth and child-headed families.

Food security and agriculture

Response:

Sector partners will conduct an emergency food security assessment in October. The sector will assist 7,800 affected families (39,000 people) with food items until December and proposes to assist 60,000 students with emergency school feedings until December. Government agencies with sector partners are preparing a joint livelihood proposal for the early recovery phase.

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)

Response:

Technical assessments are being conducted in Saguiaran, Piagapo, Marantao, Marawi City, Bubong, Buadipuso, Ditsaan Ramain and Puana Bayabao. Partner organizations, including government agencies, are desludging septic tanks in Iligan City, Saguiaran, Balo-i, Pantar and Pantao Ragat. Temporary septic treatment sites and semi-permanent latrines are also being constructed in these municipalities. Water quality is being tested and monitored regularly, as well. Municipal WASH task forces have been formed and are meeting regularly in these municipalities and Piagapo, Marantao and Marawi City.

Gaps and constraints:

Gaps remain in replenishing household water treatment chemicals and personal hygiene kits,repairing existing water sources, monitoring water quality in host family households, training local government personnel and volunteers on sanitation and hygiene, mobilizing community clean-up campaigns, and supporting local governments on solid waste management. Long-term plans are needed to address water supply infrastructure and desludging/solid waste management solutions, as well as appropriate sanitation facilities at transitional sites. Additional vehicles are needed for distributing potable water. Greater focus is needed on displaced people living in informal shelters and with host families.

Education

Response:

90 per cent of some 1,400 displaced teachers have been tracked. About 400 teachers continue to receive psychosocial support services. About 31,400 learners have been tracked nationwide. 12,000 learners are receiving psychosocial support services from sector partners. All host schools have received school kits from sector partners including government agencies. Additionally, 152 schools have received 19,000 learner kits and 45 teacher kits. 34 schools have received 60 temporary learning spaces.

Gaps and constraints:

A significant number of learners are still not in school. Learning spaces are inadequate, but sector partners are limited in their abilities to address the shortages. An assessment is needed to determine the status of early childhood education for children ages 4 to 5. More attention is needed for out-of-school youth.

Early recovery and livelihoods

Response:

As of 14 October, over 19,000 people have received on average P2,000 ($40) from cash-for-work programmes in Regions VII, X and ARMM. The Government is also providing financial aid to displaced individuals in crisis situations. It is also organizing “Brigada Marawi” groups for debris removaloperations in non-combat areas of Marawi City.

General coordination

MHT members in Iligan continue to meet every two weeks, while the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group members there meet weekly to discuss issues and concerns to be raised with Task Force Bangon Marawi and the MHT.

Please see www.humanitarianresponse.info/en/operations/philippines/events for the updated schedule of meetings.

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