Early Recovery Program for IDPs

Early Recovery Program for IDPs in Cotabato City and Sultan Kudarat municipality is a project of United Youth of the Philippines-Women, Inc. (UnYPhil-Women) in partnership with United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR. The project is aimed at providing assistance to those communities who are displaced due to conflict and flooding in the areas of Central Mindanao.

Target community beneficiaries are Cotabato City and Sultan Kudarat municipality. There are nine (9) target barangays in Cotabato City while twelve (12) are targeted for municipality of Sultan Kudarat.

Through series of activities conducted during the project implementation, data on the number of internally displaced person including their conditions are gathered which helped in identifying their needs as they start recovering from the effects of conflict and flood.

A Quick Impact Projects, QUIPs are provided for each community and this shall be based on their suggested needs while a scholarship program is designed for the youth IDPs.

People’s Organization (PO) were formed in the target barangays, helped them registered in Community Development Authority (CDA). These POs are trained on project management skills which shall help them be capacitated for handling the QUIPs are turned-over to them.

Youth IDPs who are identified to benefit the program have successfully completed five short- courses in partnership with Technical Education Assistance Development Authority, TESDA Cotabato City and Maguindanao. Courses were T-Shirt printing availed by 56 students, dressmaking by 9 youth IDPs, food processing by 11 beneficiaries, house wiring for 43 students and cosmetology for 18 beneficiaries. Classes were simultaneously held from November 28- December 20, 2011 at Ittihadun Nisa Foundation Training Center for Sultan Kudarat beneficiaries and at UnYPhil-Women Training Center for Cotabato City beneficiaries. The completion program was held on December 28, 2011 at Al-Nor Complex, Cotabato City.

The completers received certificates of completion and kits (materials needed for each course).

With the early recovery programs provided to these displaced communities, it is expected that they can start living again, giving them opportunities to continue their life as they recover from the effects of war and flooding in their life.

Cotabato City and Sultan Kudarat (Pilot Implementation)

Target beneficiaries are considered “Urban IDPs” due to their special nature of having evacuated to the urban centers of Sultan Kudarat Municipality and Cotabato City. Target beneficiaries have temporarily taken space in relatives’ lands and properties, or vacant or idle lots in these urban areas and have built semi-temporary dwellings.  Profiling activities were conducted in the previous year to determine important information related to the following: identification of their location and situation therein, timelines of their displacement, and places of origin, reasons they were displaced and are still in displacement sites.  The key findings were that these people are not prevented to stay where they are currently located. However, there is less attention given authorities to determine and provide relief to the condition including children’s access to education.  Many among the youth sector are out of school. In some situation, children were not able to enrol and attend classes having lost their documentation and other pertinent records.

Out of the 5,000 identified beneficiary families in the project for urban IDPs in Cotabato City and Sultan Kudarat Municipality, only 200 beneficiary families have been serviced with QIPs, particularly Barangays Narra and Pegcalgan in Sultan Kudarat Municipality and in Barangay Tamontaka in Cotabato City, while 189 youths in 21 barangays (9 Cotabato City, 12 Sultan Kudarat) were provided with formal technical training through the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

Focus Group Discussion in Sultan Kudarat Photos

During the pilot implementation of the project, community in target areas were asked on their situation during and after displacement. A focus group discussion (FGD) was conducted with them to get their stories and to be able to get information on their immediate needs upon returning from displacement due to conflict and flooding. Data gathered includes protection issues that are encountered by the target communities.

 

Flood Assessment Photos in Cotabato City and Sultan Kudarat municipality

Part of the project is the conduct of assessment in flood-affected communities in Cotabato City and Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. UnYPhil-Women staff visited the affected barangays to see the situation of the communities to identify their needs.

 

Orientation for Youth IDPs

 

Short-course Training Program for youth IDPs in Cotabato City and Sultan Kudarat 

The Early Recovery Program includes provision of short-course program for youth IDPs who were among the displaced families identified under this project. These youth IDPs are among those who has stopped their schooling due to conflict and flooding in their place of origin. The program aims at helping these youth to start again through acquired basic learning from the training classes attended.

 

Monitoring Activity by partner International NGO

Partner NGOs who are funding agencies conducts monitoring on the ares covered by the project. On November 2011, a monitoring was conducted by OCHA in which UnYPhil-Women is one of the local partner NGOs under the Early Recovery Program. OCHA or Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is the part of the United Nations Secretariat responsible for bringing together humanitarian actors to ensure a coherent response to emergencies.

The activity was conducted at Brgy. Poblacion 9, Biniruan Cotabato City (one of the most flood-affected communities).

Central Mindanao Expansion

IDPs in North Cotabato especially in the municipalities of Carmen and Kabacan are mostly belonging to the indigenous people as well as the Moro people. A big number of conflict affected communities are located in difficult location where government services are rendered very minimally. Details about their profile and other circumstances are yet to be determined pending proper profiling and assessments.

Since the early 1970’s, during the Martial Law Period, armed conflict has been recurrent in the province of North Cotabato. And it has not stopped from happening even up to the present time.  Conflicts can be between the government and either of the two Moro Fronts (MNLFand MILF). Conflict can also be “Low Intensity” (LIC), and can be between local commanders of the two Moro Fronts as individuals with their supporters (not structurally related), or between two warring clans within a bigger tribe (i.e. Maguindanaon vs. Maguindanaon, Manobo vs. Manobo, etc.), or can be between clans from two or more different tribes (i.e. Maguindanaon vs. Manobo vs. Settler, etc.). Either form of armed conflict has caused the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people from their homes over the period of four (4) decades.

Western Mindanao Expansion

On 18 October, over 13,000 people fled intense fighting between rebels of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippine Armed Forces (AFP) near the town of Al-Barka on the island province of Basilan. They all sought refuge with relatives and friends, where they have also been provided with relief assistance by the government’s Department of Social Welfare and Development.

On 22 October, almost 23,000 people were displaced from five different municipalities of Zambonga Sibugay when the AFP launched airstrikes against what it considered renegade MILF groups. Some 3,500 IDPs sought refuge in 11 evacuation centres, while 19,000 others opted to stay with friends and family. As of 9 November, the number of people in evacuation centres had fallen to 1,500.

A total of nearly 34,000 people remained displaced on November 9, almost three weeks after separate armed incidents in Basilan and Zambonga Sibugay Provinces had forced them to flee.

Through the assistance of UNHCR, UNYPHIL-WOMEN was able to visit some of these conflict-affected communities, provided them with some hygiene kits and protection kits, and initially get to know the situation of the affected civilian population. It was reconfirmed that their locations are in high-risks areas for armed conflict, while people are at heightened protection risks due to lack of visibility to the protection agencies and humanitarian world. The areas which the organization was able to visit are the following:

Basilan Province:

  1. Bgy. Bohe Tambak, Tipo-Tipo
  2. Bgy. Limbu Upas, Tipo-Tipo
  3. Bgy. Cailih, Al-Barka
  4. Bgy. Cambug, Al-Barka
  5. Brgy. Guinanta, Al-Barka

 Zamboanga Sibugay Province:

  1. Bgy. San Roque, Payao
  2.  Bgy. Labatan, Payao
  3. Bgy. Balama, Payao
  4. Bgy. Minundas, Payao
  5. Bgy. Poblacion, Payao

Photos during Assessment and Monitoring in Western Mindanao

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