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news | July 05, 2017 | Philippines | Emergency

Rapid response assessments and mobilisation to respond to the Marawi crisis

Distribution of hygiene kits in an evacuation centre hosting people displaced by the Marawi crisis - ACTED Philippines, 2017

Since the month of May, the population of Marawi City (Mindanao) endures the violent and escalating clashes between armed groups, with huge impacts in the city and the surrounding regions, and over 380,000 displaced.

16,000 people are now staying in 73 evacuation centres, while the rest are staying with host families or in other temporary shelters. When people will be able to return home is unclear at this stage, as there is no clear indication as to when the fighting will cease. Furthermore, Marawi City will likely not be accessible for a long time, due to risks related to the presence of armed groups and explosive devices in the city. Thereby, the situation of displaced people may no longer be a short-term displacement but rather a middle or long-term displacement, requiring protracted humanitarian assistance.

Within two days of violence erupting, ACTED deployed a rapid response assessment team, under the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM). The team conducted an assessment of the situation of displaced people in seven locations, consulting with displaced people and local stakeholders on the needs and gaps. As the onset of the violence was rapid and unexpected, majority of families fled Marawi City without necessities, such as extra clothing, livelihood assets or basic hygiene items. People were thereby in need of immediate relief assistance, especially as the mass arrival of displaced people quickly exceeded the resources available to accommodate them in evacuation centres and home-based, while humanitarian actors face challenges in reaching affected populations, as violence and security risks continue in the area.