As the world celebrates World Refugee Day, Oxfam Philippines highlights 15,000 displaced families
More than 15,000 families displaced at BARRM
MANILA – With the international community commemorating World Refugee Day today, Oxfam Philippines together with other non-government organizations calls for an immediate end to violence and hostilities in the Bangsamoro region, particularly in Sulu, Basilan, Maguindanao and Tawi-tawi, where armed conflicts continue.
In a statement, Oxfam Philippines said more than 15,000 families have lost their homes and livelihoods in armed conflict areas during the past months. The government was reported to have asked people to stay at home to avoid exposure to the coronavirus, some were forced to flee their homes to save their lives.
The NGO said Filipinos should not be forced to choose between violence and exposure to the virus. The statement is in support of a joint statement of civil society organizations and humanitarian agencies for the Bangsamoro Peace and Security Summit for Sustainable Local Development last May 24 calling for the suspension of military action of both government forces and non-state armed groups.
Oxfam Philippines said the cessation of hostilities would be a good opportunity to address the underlying causes of violence in the region. Among the steps suggested by the group is the promotion of peace dialogues among parties involved in armed conflict.
“We show our utmost support to the call for just and lasting peace and genuine people’s participation in conflict resolution and management in the Bangsamoro region,” Oxfam said.
It also suggested the linking of peace-building efforts of various organizations to find solutions to address the root causes of poverty and violence in the area.
It also suggested the linking of peace-building efforts of various organizations to find solutions to address root causes of poverty and violence in the area. Oxfam Philippines and partners carried out cash transfer programs using digital financial services to improve the welfare of local residents and hasted the delivery of social services and boost local economies. (Melo M. Acuña)
Oxfam Philippines are into peace-building efforts in Southern Philippines. (Oxfam Philippines photo).