Microsoft Word Minadanao I A S C Initial Needs Assessemnt Report

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  • 1. IASC COU TRY TEAM I THE PHILIPPI ES Initial eeds Assessment Mission to Mindanao 4-5 and 7-10 September 2008 Contents Executive Summary Report Annex A: Abbreviations and Acronyms Annex B: Record of Assessment Team Mission Activities Annex C: Assessment Team Members Annex D: Thematic Map of Mindanao 1 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 2. Acknowledgements: The IASC Country Team would like to thank all who supported the Assessment Team in various ways. Special thanks are due to UNICEF, WFP, IOM, Oxfam and OCHA for their support through direct participation in the assessment, as well as administratively and logistically to facilitate the field visits. The UN Office of the Resident Coordinator and UNDSS were also very helpful in making a successful assessment possible. We would also like to thank the International Monitoring Team, ICRC and NGOs for taking the time to talk to the Assessment Team, and our donor colleagues for their support generally and for attending the Assessment Team’s briefing. Lastly, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to the representatives of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines, the National Disaster Coordinating Council and Disaster Coordinating Councils (DCCs) at all levels of regional and local government, Local Government Units (LGUs) and lastly, in particular, the people of the towns and villages of the provinces of Mindanao which were visited. 2 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 3. Executive Summary Background: The outbreak of fierce fighting between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in August 2008 severely affected those communities caught up in the hostilities. By 9 September the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) reported1 that 62 civilians had died as a result of the fighting, of which at least seven were minors, including a 1 year old girl who died of gunshot wounds. A further 86 had been wounded, 17 of them minors. 202 homes had been destroyed and the cost of damages to infrastructure and agriculture stood at Php 121,493,061.00 (2,598,865.4395 USD). They further estimated that 107,224 families (511,090 persons) were currently affected by the fighting and of those 74,592 families (365,012 persons) were displaced. These Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) had fled the fighting carrying what possessions they could upon carts and bicycles and where they did not have these, upon their backs. They came to Evacuation Centres (ECc) set up by the local authorities predominantly in schools, creating a situation that will have an increasingly negative effect on education for as long as the current crisis lasts. There was and continues to be no clear pattern to the displacement which is characterised by highly mobile IDPs showing increasing signs of emotional and mental trauma, many of whom are repeatedly displaced by fighting or rumours of fighting. Just as sustained displacement places a significant burden on local coping mechanisms, so too does this repeated cycle of often short-lived displacement but over an increasingly prolonged period. Humanitarian Situation: The Assessment Team assessed that the current situation in the areas which they visited both in the ECs and elsewhere, is with some notable exceptions, fair. However, despite the efforts of the national and local authorities, there are issues related to water and sanitation at most ECs. This results from access to potable water often being limited, poor hygiene practices frequently observed, insufficient sanitary and hygiene facilities and poor human and solid waste management. This had directly contributed to the spread of diarrheal and other diseases in several of the camps visited. Local health services were very active but understandably stretched. The majority of IDPs required and were receiving food assistance which was validated and endorsed by local authorities both as a matter of good practice and to address concerns of food dependency. Undernourishment and micronutrient deficiency among children and pregnant and lactating women were being addressed but will continue to require action. Camp management was an issue in most locations as the ECs are not purpose-designed to house IDPs and considerable effort and experience is required to modify them to suit this purpose. In certain sites that the team visited such as Datu Piang, the situation was serious; these sites require considerable work before the issues of concern can be resolved. Protection related issues for all of those affected remain a concern. Lastly, the Assessment Team observed that many of the IDPs were pale, listless and unresponsive to external stimuli, indicating widespread and potentially severe mental and emotional trauma. Humanitarian Response: The team was uniformly impressed with the humanitarian response underway at all levels by the national and local authorities and their humanitarian partners. Coordination and response is well managed by the NDCC through Government Cluster Leads, Disaster Coordinating Councils (DCCS) at all levels of regional and local government and Local Government Units (LGUs). However there are, as always, some coordination issues affecting the response, particularly in Shariff Kabunsuan and Maguindanao. To date Php 60.1 Million (1,288,179.221 USD) of rice, clothing, food packs, medicines, tents and other relief items have been delivered both inside and outside ECs. Department of Health authorities and local health workers continue to conduct psychosocial debriefing and address a broad range of health needs ranging from the treatment of trauma injuries to mass immunization programmes and child and maternal health care. United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, NGOs and IOs continue to support national and local response structures when and where required. The Assessment Team recommend that the IASC Country Team recognise and reaffirm the need for all parties to work within the framework of existing 1 NDCC Situation Report No. 32, 9 September 2008. 3 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 4. government response structures and mechanisms, in order to ensure the coordinated and effective delivery of assistance. Summary of Assessment Team Recommendations: Despite a well managed and administered response, there are certain areas in which the Assessment Team recommends targeted humanitarian assistance interventions by IASC partners in support of local authorities. These are chiefly in Camp Management, Water and Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Health, Protection (with a particular focus on psychosocial support), and Food. Detailed recommendations in these areas and others are made in the main body and at the end of the report. As important - if not more so - than these specific interventions, is the strengthening of development programmes currently being implemented and the launch of new programmes, particularly those which deal with all aspects of livelihoods and livelihood generation. These programmes address many of the issues which are at the core of the current conflict, supporting the premise that if more of those involved in the fighting had more to lose, perhaps they might think twice before taking up arms. IASC partners are encouraged to work closely with Donors to identify funding for the strengthening of existing development programmes and in order to jointly identify and implement development programmes not currently in use but which have enjoyed success when implemented in similar situations elsewhere. Lastly, whilst it was clear to the Assessment Team that local coping mechanisms are robust enough to deal with the current situation, there was significant concern that should the fighting continue over a prolonged period or should another natural phenomena strike the area and have significant humanitarian consequences, local coping mechanisms may well be overwhelmed. The Assessment Team therefore recommends that IASC partners commence a coordinated Inter Agency Contingency Planning Process following the established IASC guidelines, in order to prepare for a larger scale humanitarian response in support of National Authorities should the need arise. This process should start as soon as possible and should consider all aspects of a potential response including the actions which should be undertaken now to support that response, such as the stockpiling of humanitarian supplies in Mindanao. Key to the success of this planning and implementation, if required, are current limitations in programme support capacity in Mindanao, such as limited communications and Safety and Security services, which should be addressed as a matter of priority in the contingency planning process. ote: At the time of writing it is generally understood by the IASC CT that the current GRP position with regards to external assistance in response to the humanitarian situation in Mindanao is that whilst they have now welcomed targeted and coordinated assistance they do not want to ‘Internationalise’ the operation and would not currently support an emergency appeal2. Summary of Recommendations for Consideration of IASC Country Teams 1. Targeted humanitarian assistance interventions by IASC partners in support of local authorities to be undertaken as soon as possible in the areas of: • Camp Management • WASH • Health • Food. • Protection– with a particular focus on psychosocial support 2. Strengthening of existing development programmes and launch of new development-focused initiatives to tackle the root causes of the conflict to be considered by all IASC partners. 3. IASC Inter Agency Contingency Planning for a potential humanitarian response operation to Mindanao in support of national and local authorities to be undertaken as soon as possible. 2 Also outlined in note from the President GRP to Government Cluster leads and NDCC given to the team on 11.09.08 1 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 5. IASC COU TRY TEAM I THE PHILIPPI ES Report of the Rapid Initial eeds Assessment Mission to Mindanao 14 September 2008 A. Overview of the situation Conflict-induced displacement in the Philippines has affected several thousand people over the past three decades, mainly in the southern island group of Mindanao3. The current displacement incident that triggered a concerted response by the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), the chief government coordinating body for disaster operations and rehabilitation efforts, was sparked by operations carried out by ‘renegade’4 members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) over a two- week period beginning 10 August 2008. Two MILF Base Commands attacked communities in the provinces of Lanao del Norte in Northern Mindanao, Region X, North Cotabato, South Cotabato and Sarangani in Region XII, as well as Lanao del Sur and Basilan in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). The attacks were followed by government punitive counter-operations, which also contributed to increased displacement. The pattern of displacement in the conflict affected areas of Mindanao makes it very difficult to estimate an accurate total number of people displaced, as displacements are often for short periods but are repetitive and with many IDPs ‘home based’ (hosted by families). The IDP caseload resulting from the August fighting is not an exception. The most often sited estimates are those of the NDCC5, who report that the number of IDPs in Regions X, XII and ARMM is around 365,012, with about 54,279 families (264,370 persons) living with host families and communities and about 20,313 families (100,642 persons) in Evacuation Centres (ECs). Region X has 24 ECs housing 16,382 evacuees; Region XII has 40 ECs housing 10,090 persons; and ARMM has 64 ECs housing 74,170 persons. The total number of ECs stands at 128. Civilian dead stand at 62, at least seven of whom are minors, and a further 86 civilians have been injured, 17 of whom are minors. Moro ational Liberation Front (M LF) Mindanao is the centre of the Bangsamoro homeland and it is the status of this homeland that is at the centre of separatist claims by the Muslim (or “Moro”) rebel groups6. At present, there are two main groups: the MNLF which was the first Moro armed separatist group founded in 1971, and the MILF, a splinter group created in 1984 by former MNLF fighters. There have been a number of attempts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict with the MNLF signing a peace agreement with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines in 1976. This agreement had limited success and led to the signing of a second agreement in 1996, which established the ARMM giving predominantly Muslim areas of Mindanao some degree of autonomy. 3 IDMC (2008) estimates that the total number of people displaced by armed conflict in the Philippines during the period 2000-2007 is at 2.1 million. 4 These ‘renegade’ units are the 102nd Base Command under Commander ‘Bravo’ and the 105th Base Command under Commander Umra Kato. Both leaders have broken away from MILF Central Command and it is critical to the understanding of the current situation that at the time of writing the majority of the MILF are not involved in combat operations. 5 NDCC Situation Report No. 32, 9 September 2008. 6 The Bangsamoro people refers to those who are natives or original inhabitants of Mindanao and its adjacent islands including Palawan and the Sulu archipelago at the time of conquest or colonization. Their descendants are mixed or of full native blood. 1 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 6. Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) The MILF is based in central Mindanao, enjoying some support in rural areas where lack of economic development has encouraged dissent. Peace talks between the government and the MILF began in 1996 during the Ramos Administration. In March 2000, the government launched an “all-out war” against the MILF which resulted in the displacement of thousands of people. The present administration restarted the peace talks the following year with the General Framework for the Resumption of Peace Talks between the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the MILF. Conflict resumed in 2003 in the same areas, causing new waves of displacement. Between 2003 and 2007, dialogue and peace-building measures prevented the continuing sporadic clashes and army operations against criminal gangs from turning into large-scale confrontations involving the MILF. In October 2004, a Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team (IMT) was established in Mindanao to oversee a cease-fire agreement between the government and the MILF, yet peace negotiations have stalled since 2006. Recent Peace Process Hopes of an imminent peace agreement were raised in July 2008 when the government and the MILF appeared to have reached a consensus on the issue of Moro territory with the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD). Perhaps anticipating the signing of the MOA or perhaps simply as a normal pattern of raiding for supplies, renegade MILF units occupied 15 Barangays in North Cotobato in July 2008. When efforts to move them using diplomacy failed, fighting between the MILF and AFP broke out and grew quickly to affect neighbouring areas, leading to displacement. This situation worsened when on 4 August, just one day before the MOA signing ceremony, the Philippines Supreme Court, prompted by complaints from local officials of North Cotabato and Zamboanga provinces as well as from Mindanao Christian groups, issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on the MOA pending a review of its constitutional validity. This prompted a fierce MILF backlash which culminated on 18 August with the 102nd Base Command’s attack on Kolambugan, Kauswagan and Linamon municipalities in Lanao del Norte. This incident saw the active targeting of civilians, wanton destruction of property, hostage-taking and murder and triggered significant displacement. Reports of torture and mutilation were also received. Other causes of displacement and vulnerabilities The violence emanating from the recent failed peace talks fell on top of a series of other factors of long- standing instability and displacement. The underdevelopment of the region is a deep seated root cause of the conflicts in Mindanao. Although the establishment of ARMM raised hopes of social and economic development, all six ARMM provinces continue to rank amongst the poorest in the country7. In 2007 and 2008, Mindanao, and in particular ARMM, suffered from high food prices as well as food shortages. Furthermore, five provinces of Mindanao have been identified as disaster-prone areas by the Office of Civil Defence (OCD)8. There are also various other groups whose activities and presence contribute to the general instability of the environment. Amongst these are extremist organisations such as the Abu Sayaff Group (ASG) and Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) who are the focus of counter terrorist operations. The National People’s Army (NPA) who have been active in the past are, for the time being, fairly quiet. Vigilante groups such as the Ilago9 and other armed civilian groups such as the Civilian Volunteer Organisations (CVOs) are a potential source of trouble. Widespread banditry, clan fighting and criminal activity also contribute to the general lawlessness. 7 The six provinces are Tawi-Tawi, Maguindanao and Lanao Del Sur in the ARMM, Zamboanga Del Norte in Region IX, Surigao Del Norte in Caraga Region, and Misamis Occidental in Northern Mindanao in Region X. 8 The five provinces are Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Agusan del Norte and Zamboanga Sibuqay. 9 A Vigilante group in Mindanao who were most active in the 1970s 2 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 7. Of critical import to the current assessment for its effect on local coping mechanisms was the severe flooding in the aftermath of Typhoon Frank, in July 2008, of North Cotobato, Maguindanao, Shariff Kabunsuan and neighbouring areas. B. Purpose and objectives of the assessment The primary objective of the mission was to establish a common operating picture of the humanitarian needs in the conflict affected areas of Mindanao by identifying: • The impact of the current fighting on local communities, their infrastructure and their coping mechanisms • Those groups which are most vulnerable and should be targeted for assistance • The type and nature of the national, regional and local government response to any emerging humanitarian needs and any gaps in their capacity to respond • The type and nature of civil society, national and international humanitarian organisations’ response operations underway • The most urgent relief needs and potential methods of meeting them most effectively • The coordination mechanisms in place, their strengths and weaknesses and methods of supporting strengthening them as required • Any significant political cultural and logistical constraints. In order to: Provide the IASC Country Team with recommendations which define and set priorities for the actions and resources required in the immediate future, highlight any particular concerns and draw attention to geographic or thematic areas which require further in-depth assessment/follow-up in support of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. C. Methodology On 2 September 2008, the IASC Cluster Co-leads10 under the leadership of the UN Resident Coordinator, a.i., met and agreed on the need to urgently mount a rapid initial needs assessment to Mindanao and consensus on how that mission might be conducted. A planning session followed during which various elements of the assessment were thought through and tasks distributed. The six-day field visit was undertaken in two phases due to the geographic, logistical and security constraints. The first took place during 4-5 September, and the second from 7-10 September. Four conflict affected provinces were covered, including Lanao del Norte, North Cotabato, Maguindanao and Shariff Kabunsuan. The Assessment Team consisted of six members representing IOM, OCHA, Oxfam, UNICEF and WFP11. Collectively, the team covered sectors and thematic areas of Health, Nutrition and WASH, Food, Camp Management, Shelter, Protection and Education, Communications and Security issues, and Coordination. These were deemed by the IASC Country Team as key sectors for the assessment. Early Recovery was not addressed separately but as a core component of each thematic area. 10 The IASC Country Team in the Philippines consists of UN agencies, international NGOs, the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement and the private sector’s Disaster Management Network. The IASC Co-leads are the Government Cluster Lead counter points within the IASC Country Team. 11 See Annex X for the list of Assessment Team members. 3 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 8. Data collection The Assessment Team followed the methodological approach developed by the NDCC in partnership with the IASC Country Team, using the rapid assessment form which is at Annex A to NDCC Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of August 2008. Although the SOP was designed to address post-natural disaster scenarios, the rapid assessment form was adaptable to complex emergencies. The team tailored the form to fit this current assessment. The Assessment Team also used a range of standardized approaches and procedures to gather information. A series of interviews were conducted with local government authorities including Provincial Governors, provincial administrators, and representatives of the regional and provincial disaster coordinating councils as well as health, social welfare and development offices. The team also met with representatives of AFP, MILF, the International Monitoring Team, ICRC, NGOs as well as displaced persons. These interviews were based on the vulnerability and capacity flowchart which is at Annex B to NDCC SOP. The team members also triangulated information for confirmation through observation of the surroundings, visits to the evacuation centres and IDP camps as well as secondary sources of information. Limitations While the purpose of the assessment is to establish a broad snapshot of the emergency based on an assessment of a given area in a particular point in time, the team was cautious about generalising to the entire situation. The team made efforts to ensure that the areas being assessed provided an accurate picture of the needs, coping patterns and priorities. Nevertheless, it must be clear to readers that the team did not visit all of the affected areas and that their findings are correspondingly affected. The areas targeted for the assessment lacked baseline information in several key sectors. Such data are useful in differentiating between chronic and emergency needs. However, team members had extensive experience in delivering assistance in Mindanao, and were able to distinguish, in broad strokes, what is normal for the location and what is occurring due to an emergency. The Assessment Team was aware of the inherent political and economic pressures in the conflict affected areas. The team generally decided on who to interview and where to undertake the interviews. Since intentional and contextual biases are inevitably part of doing assessments, the team frequently held candid discussions amongst themselves to minimise the effects of biases as much as possible. D. Overview of the Assessment Team’s Activities and Findings by Area: 1. Phase 1: 4 to 5 September - Lanao del orte Assessment Team Activities: The Assessment Team visited Lanao del Norte on 4 and 5 September, where they met with the Provincial Administrator and staff of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC), assessed four ‘evacuation centres’12 where IDPs were housed and attended an NGO Coordination meeting hosted by the PDCC before departing the area. The visit afforded the team the opportunity to talk not only to Provincial Authorities but to also speak to IDPs and their community leaders, locally based UN colleagues, NGOs, Military Officers and other interested parties. 12 “Evacuation centres”, as is usual in the Philippine context, are those buildings that are traditionally the points of convergence during times of displacement, such as: public school buildings, churches, and public parks (or plazas). More often than not, spontaneous evacuation centre- like situations (camp-like situations) are likewise observed. 4 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 9. ote: Of considerable frustration to the team was their inability to access IDPs reported to be in the interior of the province due to the ongoing fighting and corresponding security restrictions. Whilst this lack of access affected the team’s ability to make an accurate initial assessment, interviews with IDPs from those areas and other reports furnished the team with at least partial information upon which to draw conclusions. It is recommended that the situation of the IDPs in the interior of Lanao del orte be as closely monitored as possible until such a time as access allows an initial assessment to be conducted by staff in the area. General Observations: The vast majority of those still displaced are in ECs in the villages and towns along the coastal road. IDPs fall into three main categories: • Those people who have lost their homes • Those people who live in areas currently affected by fighting who are to frightened to return • Those people who are either traumatised by the fighting or live close but not in areas of conflict who return to their homes during the day but stay in the relative safety of the ECs at night. Humanitarian Situation: The situation in the camps visited by the Assessment Team in Lanao del Norte was fair. There are some areas in which SPHERE standards are not met to the letter but every effort has been made to consider and meet these standards where possible. WASH is the one area of main concern, with access to water and disposal of all types of waste an issue. If this is not addressed promptly there will be implications on the health situation. Linked to this are broader concerns related to correct camp management. Of note was the importance of the current WFP food distribution programme which is sustaining IDPs and should be continued for the duration of the current displacement. Many of the IDPs that the team met exhibited symptoms of severe emotional trauma and whilst some were the target of psychosocial interventions, there was a limited local capacity for this type of activity. Humanitarian Response and Coordination: The humanitarian response followed established plans with the Municipal Disaster Coordinating Councils (MDCCs) managing the first response with the support, guidance and coordination of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Councils (PDCCs). The PDCCs were in turn supported by the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council RDCC (RDCC Region 10) with the entire operation managed at the national level from the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC). The team assessed the local (Municipal and Provincial) response as being well coordinated although Provisional Authorities reported that coordination between themselves and Municipal Authorities was on occasion problematic and required strengthening. They also reported that coordination between members of the PDCC could also be better citing the example of the Integrated Provincial Health Office who was doing good works but in what they felt was an uncoordinated fashion. Coordination with NGOs and other humanitarian actors also appeared to need strengthening with both Provisional Authorities and military actors saying that NGOs had to stop acting independently for both reasons of coordinated service provision and security. Summary: Generally a very well run response with some areas of need requiring targeted humanitarian interventions in support of the local authorities and in coordination with the N/RDCC. These are in WASH, Health, Camp Management, Food Assistance and psychosocial counselling as detailed in the needs by sectors/thematic area later in this report. 2. Phase 2: 7 to 10 September - Shariff Kabunsuan, Maguindanao and orth Cotobato Assessment Team Activities: The Assessment Team visited Shariff Kabunsuan, Maguindanao and North Cotobato from 7 to 10 September and met with the Provincial Governors of Shariff Kabunsuan and 5 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 10. North Cotobato, the Provincial Administrator of Maguindanao, staff of the PDCCs, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) and IPHO in each area. The team also met representatives of the MILF, AFP, NGO community, ICRC and ARMM RDCC. In addition the team conducted site assessments of four IDP locations. General Observations: The situation in the three provinces visited was significantly different to that which the team had seen in Lanao del Norte. Many of the areas which the team visited had been affected by the flooding which had followed Typhoon Frank in July. PDCCs, MDCCs and Local Government Units (LGUs) had already used a significant proportion of their assets and funds to respond to the flooding and the breakout of fighting only complicated an already serious situation. While the Assessment Team was in the area a fresh wave of fighting caused significant displacement of families who had only returned to their homes the day before. Once again the IDPs fall into the three categories already encountered in Lanao del Norte. Humanitarian Situation: The cumulative effects of this repeated ‘cycle of displacement’ were clear in the sites that the Assessment Team visited with poor sanitation and waste management leading to an increase in upper respiratory tract infections, diarrheal cases and measles. Once again the key areas to address are WASH, Health and Camp management with targeted feeding also required. Outside ECs, IDPs living with host families had to contend with residual flooding with flood waters receding very slowly due to silting of drainage points. This in turn made it impossible in many areas for host families to tend their crops or graze their livestock, making it difficult for them to feed themselves let alone the IDPs who are living with them. Flooding also compounded sanitation and hygiene problems. Humanitarian Response and Coordination: Once again humanitarian operations followed the established national and local model described previously. There was evidence that humanitarian service providers were beginning to become fatigued but they still maintained services to the highest standard possible. In the three Provinces visited, management and coordination of response operations was assessed as good in North Cotobato and fair in Sheriff Kabunsuan and Maguindanao. All DCCs were using the common assessment forms developed by the Government Cluster Leads, the NDCC and IASC partners. There was some confusion across the board on the numbers of those affected and displaced with some authorities counting families and then listing total number of dependants, others counting families and using a simple multiplication factor to give total numbers and in either case it was not clear to the team what exactly constituted ‘dependant’. This in turn led to relatively minor discrepancies between DCCs in the total figures given. Summary: A well managed response but with some areas of need requiring targeted humanitarian interventions in support of the local authorities and in coordination with the N/RDCC, particularly in Sheriff Kabunsuan and Maguindanao. Areas requiring attention are in WASH, Health, Camp Management, Food Assistance and psychosocial counselling as detailed in the needs by sectors/thematic area later in this report. Due in part to the previous flooding and in part to the intensity of current military and MILF operations in Shariff Kabunsuan, Maguindanao and North Cotobato, support to local authorities should be prioritised to Shariff Kabunsuan and Maguindanao in the first instance and North Cotobato thereafter.. E. Assessment and eeds by Sectors/Thematic Areas 1. Health The local health systems in the four provinces are functional but with initial signs of fatigue among direct health service providers. The capacity of the local health systems to provide direct services are sustained through the deployment of hospital personnel to ECs; the reinforcement of personnel from the Centres for 6 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 11. Health and Development for Region 10 and Region 12 and DOH-ARMM; the presence of local health volunteers, and; the augmentation of LGU-procured medical supplies, drugs and equipments by the DOH, ARMM, international and local NGOs, UN agencies, national leaders in congress and neighbouring LGUs. To prevent any untoward health effects among IDPs, mass immunization against measles among 6- months old infants to 59-months old children in almost all the evacuation sites has been conducted, together with the strengthening of disease surveillance and early referral and management of cases by the deployment of one midwife per evacuation site in North Cotabato; the establishment of health operations centres in most ECs; running the RHUs of Datu Piang, Mamasapano and Talayan on 24-hour operations and improving access to potable water supply and sanitary facilities. The conduct of medical missions to affected barangays and municipalities by LGUs and other humanitarian partners also contributed in the clinical management of sick home-based IDPs. Below is a brief summary of common illnesses seen and managed in evacuation sites and conflict-related casualties as reported by province. Table 1: Summary of common illnesses seen and managed in evacuation sites and conflict-related casualties as reported by province Province Deaths Injured Common Illnesses seen at EC 1. Lanao del Norte 39, no deaths due to 30 Fever, cough, LBM, skin illness or occurred at diseases (cases are referred and EC managed in nearby health facilities) 2. Maguindanao & 13 due to encounter 14 Common illnesses are URTI, Sharif Kabunsuan including 4 children diarrhoea, fever and skin & pregnant women, diseases. Reported cases of 8 died due to illness measles are increasing in broken down as Maguindanao (36 cases) and follows: 5 died at EC Sharif Kabunsuan (14 cases), due to pneumonia, 79 cases of diarrhoea were asthma, HPN and MI; seen of which 51 were 2 died of measles and admitted in Datu Piang 1 due to diarrhoea RHU. There are 33 recorded (home-based IDPs) pregnant women at Datu Piang EC. 3. North Cotabato 4 GSW, 6 cardiac 8 Diarrhoea, fever, cough, one arrest case of severe malnutrition was referred to hospital for further management, and one delivery at Upper Abbas EC Despite the above efforts, latest data provided by regional and provincial partners revealed that there are increasing cases of diarrhoea and measles, a signal that warrants strategic and comprehensive WASH interventions in addition to health and targeted nutrition interventions, in order to avert any impending outbreak of infectious diseases specifically in the provinces of Maguindanao, Sharif Kabunsuan and North Cotabato. Furthermore, the provision of clinical and preventive interventions is complicated by the 7 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 12. high mobility of IDPs, limited mobility of health workers because of security concerns, and the lack of culturally and gender sensitive IEC materials on health, nutrition and WASH. Recommendations: 1. Support ongoing clinical and preventive interventions through provision of medicines, especially for children, including de-worming tablets, midwifery kits and EPI supplies; 2. Support the strengthening of maternal and child health care in strategic ECs with large populations; 3. Conduct culturally sensitive health promotion and education activities with IDPs participation and provision of IEC materials on health, nutrition and WASH during emergency; 4. To ensure availability of medicines and other medical, surgical and WASH supplies on sites, stockpiling of essential supplies on health, nutrition and WASH should be explored in close coordination with humanitarian partners; 2. WASH Table 1 provides a brief WASH description of ECs visited, which reflects the general WASH situation of ECs in the four provinces the team visited. The 8 ECs visited do not meet the minimum SPHERE standards with varying degrees of severity. The ECs in Lanao del Norte, except for the 5-day old EC at Montay that housed about 144 IDP families from Tangkal and Monai, are relatively clean. The situation in Datu Piang EC, in Maguindanao, Libungan Toretta and North Cotabato are poor and require immediate action to prevent any occurrence of disease outbreak among IDPs. When the team was there cases of diarrhoea and measles were on the increase in Datu Piang. In all the ECs visited, the safety and welfare of women and girls is not safeguarded due to lack of sanitary facilities specifically for women. Table 1: WASH Situation of 8 ECs visited in the provinces of Lanao del orte, Maguindanao and orth Cotabato: Evacuation Water Sanitary Facilities & Hygiene Comment Sites Facilities Waste Management 1. Lanao del Norte (Sept. 4, 2008) 1.Riverside Available water Two toilets for the evacuees Basic hygiene Overcrowded during National High source on site, with another set that is practices such as day time (3 rooms at School (51 water containers being used by students and hand washing, use day time); at night families with are available but teachers. of footwear and time additional rooms 176 persons) not enough, no proper food are used for sleeping, chlorination. Environment is relatively storage are not cartons and a few mats clean, garbage is being being practiced. are used to protect burnt on site. IDPs from cement floors. There is a common cooking area and food is stored in an open space between EC and water and sanitary facilities. 2. Kolasihan Available about No CR, surrounding area is Basic hygiene Overcrowded, cartons, Evacuation 300 meters away, relatively clean and garbage practices are not mats and plastic Centre (156 no chlorination, is being burnt; human being practiced. sheeting are used for families, about IDPs have water faeces is wrapped in plastic sleeping. 780 persons, containers for and is disposed of Lanao del Norte) collection & indiscriminately at the EC 8 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 13. storage, but not periphery. sufficient. 3.Montay No water source, No CR , IDPs are using one Poor, basic hand Mats and cartons are Evacuation water collected at CR at the mosque which is washing not a used for sleeping. Centre (144 the Mosque about about 1.5 km from the EC common practice. families, about 1.5 km away, water 1,756 containers individuals from available but Tangkal and insufficient, no Monai chlorination. (Maranao) 5-day old EC), Lanao del Norte 4. Kauswagan No water source No sanitary facilities at the Basic hand IDP sleep on very cold Gym (8 families, but with water gym, sanitary facility CR at washing not cement floor using with about 40 container, no the municipal hall nearby observed, clean cartons and mats. people) chlorination. (less than 100 metres). IDPs surroundings. especially children and women are at risk during night time. 2. Maguindanao, September 8, 2008 Datu Piang, Only 3 water Only two common public Very poor , There is an increasing Maguindanao sources (deep toilets, privacy not stagnant water, cases of diarrhoea, 51 (est. 3,200 well); 2 sources are considered, faeces disposed poor drainage, out of 92 admissions families – located about 500 of in the river at the back of poor garbage at the RHUs are Centre-based) metres or more to the EC. Same river is being disposal, flies diarrhoea cases. and 458 home- the camp sites; 1 utilised as bathing area, observed in the based IDPs. fire tank positioned especially by young EC, no common Open park space within the site for children. Poor waste washing and with few washing. Only 1 management. cooking facilities, building like RSI assisting in the very poor food local Civil provision of stock storage, Registrar office, solution. While disorganised fire station. hyposol is establishment of available it is not tents/makeshift. being used by the IDPs, due to lack of knowledge. Very inadequate water containers. 3. North Cotabato, September 9, 2008 Takepan, Pikit: 1 water source at 1 public toilet, no gender Rubbish is Night IDPs. about 80 night the barangay hall, segregated facilities, manageable but IDPs centre- inadequate water potential protection risk to might affect the based and about container, safety of women. health and 200 home-based, IDPs esp. to fetch nutrition of IDPs children are in water during night if no additional school while time. measures. parents are in the fields during day time, EC is used for sleeping quarters. Dualing EC, Oxfam supported No sanitary toilets, BHS Hygiene practices Houses of the IDPs Aleosan: located the installation of a with toilet facility but not poor, garbage is were burned during 9 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 14. in an open space water tank. for the IDPs. manageable. the fighting. near BHS and open public facility catering to about 112 centre-based IDP families , with additional 92 home-based IDPs families. Libungan 1 Water Bladder Insufficient latrine facilities Very poor, solid IDPs are from North Torretta, and 1 new water although 2 x bowl latrines waste and South Kabuntalan, Midsayap: 575 tank installed by were recently installed. management is Sharif Kabunsuan. families, about Oxfam; water IDPs use the nearby river as totally absent, 2,875 containers a toilet, bathing and fishing food storage very individuals). sufficient. area. poor, no common cooking areas. In addition to above observations, due to almost daily afternoon downpours, ECs and houses along the highway leading to the municipality of Datu Piang are flooded, further reinforcing the poor environmental situation affecting both IDPs and host communities. Recommendations: 1. Address WASH gaps to ensure the availability of a minimum safe drinking water supply taking into account the privacy, dignity and security of women and girls, improvement of safe excreta and solid waste management, and construction of appropriate sanitary facilities, and; 2. Augment the support provided by partners by the provision of water storage containers, water purifiers, hygiene kits, non-food item such as family packs including mats, plastic sheaths, footwear and kitchen utensils. 3. Food Prior to the onset of the latest violence severe flooding in the aftermath of Tycoon Frank wiped out or severely affected most of the crops in the areas that the Assessment Team visited, with the exception of Lanao del Norte, which was spared the flooding. In the immediate aftermath of the flooding farmers had tried to replant but the onset of the fighting drove many of them off their farms again and what harvest had been collected was stolen, along with livestock, farm implements and machinery. What was not taken was often destroyed. In times of peace the main source of food for IDPs was self production, exchange, trade and purchase. These sources are now no longer available and even those who still have farm implements, machinery and the land to work upon, are too frightened to do so for fear of AFP and MILF fighting. With no food reserves or purchasing power, families are dependent on food aid of rice, noodles and canned goods which are not enough to meet the required nutritional intake of an individual let alone satisfy their hunger. Various government, non-government and international organisations are providing and have provided food interventions to the displaced families on a very limited scale. Some organisations provided food assistance which ranges from 2 kg–10 kg of rice, 2-3 tins of canned goods and sometimes 2-3 packs of noodles per family, with a very limited number of families served and no certainty of repeated delivery. 10 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 15. The WFP is providing food aid in the form 25 kg of rice per month per family to all displaced families both inside evacuation centres and outside, such as those living with host families. Assessed food needs of IDPs are rice being the main staple, dried fish, sugar, coffee, vegetables/pulses and oil. Basic food should comprise of carbohydrates, protein and fats; however, coffee and sugar are considered to be very important in the diet of the Muslim population which comprise the majority of the displaced families. Recommendations: 1. The provision of food aid to IDPs should continue at both ECs and in the host families as validated and endorsed by local authorities; 2. The food basket should include but not be limited to rice, oil and pulses; 3. The food aid should be provided for at least two months or until IDPs have returned to their respective communities; 4. Displaced families who return to their respective communities should be given food aid through food for work and/or food for training on a case by case basis; 5. Food for work projects should focus on the rehabilitation and/or restoration, of IDPs’ livelihoods such as irrigation systems, farm plots, farm to market roads and other public facilities such as schools, health centres and facilities destroyed during the conflict and/or during typhoon Frank; and 6. Food for training should also be implemented with a focus on enhancement of skills that diversify IDPs’ potential income sources. 4. Camp Management and Shelter The attendant activities and focus inherent in managing camps cover cross-cutting concerns towards ensuring an enjoyment of basic human rights by all segments of the displaced population. For this assessment mission, the specific interlocking areas of shelter and protection were taken into primary account. The frame of the camp management, protection, and shelter component of this assessment was anchored on the specific direction embodied in the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and the Sphere Project Humanitarian Charter, towards setting up and maintaining a site that provides a safe, secure and dignified place for displaced persons to live in, according to internationally accepted standards of well being. Further, the camp management responsibility of ensuring the efficient and timely delivery of services through coordination, identification of gaps, monitoring and by avoiding duplication, provided the essential stratum for a more grounded analysis of the general complex emergency situation in the targeted 3 provincial assessment sites. Evacuation camps in this assessment refer to: (a) schools which are utilized as ECs; and (b) other public premises provided by the government for temporary evacuation use. The provincial governments and other humanitarian agencies have mobilised resources to respond to the current displacement issue, but indications are that IDPs will be living in cyclical displaced situations with marked mobility patterns within such displacement, perhaps for as long as three months. This timeframe is speculative, as the situation of population displacement is indelibly linked with the protracted and current peace process in Mindanao, and for the past few months, has been exacerbated by weather disturbances and typhoons. A brief overview of the sites which the Assessment Team visited is below: a) Lanao del orte. The vast majority of those still displaced are in ECs in the villages and towns along the coastal road. In 4 IDP sites that were visited there were: 11 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 16. • 51 families (about 176 individuals) remained in the Cabrera Riverside National School; • 156 families (about 780 individuals) in the Kolasihan Elementary School; • 144 families (about 1,756 individuals) in the Szopad Kauswagan (Muntai) premises, and; • 8 families (about 40 individuals) in the Kauswagan Gym. These IDPs fall into three broad categories: • Those people who have lost their homes; • Those people who live in areas currently affected by fighting who are to frightened to return, and; • Those people who are either traumatised by the fighting or live close but not in areas of conflict who return to their homes during the day but stay in the relative safety of the evacuation centres at night. The general situation of these 4 sites was fair. It was evident that some areas of SPHERE standards were not met, however it was as clear that every effort was made to consider and meet such standards, where possible. At roughly (at an average of) 17 families per classroom, congestion was amply self- managed at night-time wherein families and individuals would seek their own empty classrooms in which to spend the night, outside of the assigned IDP classrooms. Sleeping mats/mattresses and beddings were clearly insufficient. Likewise bathroom and washing facilities were also insufficient. Access to potable water was also a concern. b) orth Cotabato. 3 sites were visited in North Cotabato: a) Takipan, Pikit site - holding 80 individuals, with another 200 individuals with host families within the area. The majority of IDPs at this site were ‘night-time’ IDPs, working outside the site during the day. The makeshift tents (made of plastic sheeting held up by cut tree branches) were empty during the visit. This site did not have any toilet facilities and the only water source was some distance away. b) Dualing site - holding 112 families, with another 92 families in host households. Water supply to this site has been supported by Oxfam; however, the only toilet available for IDP use was the barangay health station toilet. c) Libungan Toreta site - holding 575 families (about 2,875 individuals). The IDPs bathe, wash and fish in the Ligwasan Marsh, alongside the site. Unfortunately, the IDPs also use the marsh for human waste disposal. 1 water bladder was installed for use by the entire site, by the side of the road, with water pipes only reaching a portion of the sprawling expanse of land. Makeshift tents, standing as low as 3 feet from the ground, are made of plastic sheeting, bamboo, and cut tree branches, with dried palm leaves used as additional protection from the elements. The general WASH and IDP management situation in the IDP sites requires urgent attention to prevent the outbreak of disease. As traditional evacuation sites used for IDPs, and considering that the current fighting may last for some time, there should be serious attempts to improve the management of these sites. c) ARRM - Maguindanao. As of 7 September 2008, there were 2,500 IDP families in Datu Piang, with about 458 IDP families being hosted by families in the community. During the assessment visit, there were still an unregistered 700+ IDP families who just arrived at the evacuation site. The water 12 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 17. and sanitation situation of Datu Piang was poor with 3 functional pumps of drinking water and only 2 public toilets for IDP use. The immediate area around the toilets was extremely unsanitary. No site management (and planning oversight) was evident in Datu Piang, with IDPs just setting their respective temporary plastic sheeting anywhere in the area. It was clear that the makeshift tents did not provide either shade from the sun or protection from the rain. Mattresses and bedding were likewise lacking. Recommendations 1. Internal camp management (and camp coordination) operational guidelines should be mainstreamed within community-based teams present in areas (or potential areas) of displacement for troubleshooting, responding to newly emerging scenarios over varied geographical areas, monitoring and reporting on emerging trends, and providing early warning on possible political/environmental developments. 5. utrition The nutritional status of IDPs, with the exception of North Cotabato, was assessed through observation due to lack of data. In North Cotabato, latest provincial data revealed that 1,604 and 1,062 children under five are below normal low (BNL) and below normal very low (BNVL) respectively. The lack of disaggregated data of the children weighed makes it very difficult to determine the prevalence of underweight among children among young children. In general, about 4-5 out of 10 IDPs are women of reproductive age group, with a number of pregnant and lactating women. Also on the average about 2-3 out of 10 are children below 5 years old. Most young women and mothers at the sites are pale, sad and mentally pre-occupied. While most children are enjoying the attention provided to them, a significant number look undernourished. The immediate actions carried out by local health workers were the mass Vitamin A supplementation of young children, breastfeeding promotion and the establishment of breastfeeding areas. To prevent the increase of undernourishment and micronutrient deficiency among children and pregnant and lactating women, appropriate WASH interventions, sustained provision of clinical and preventive health interventions and the provision of food assistance to pregnant and lactating women is required. Recommendations: 1. Provide targeted food assistance to pregnant and lactating women; 2. Promotion of breastfeeding and conduct of nutrition education, and; 3. Micronutrient supplementation to address hidden hunger among the vulnerable age groups. 6. Education The limited availability of other suitable space has meant that many schools have been designated as ECs and are currently used to host IDPs. In some locations classes continue in one part of the school as IDPs live in another. In other areas classes have stopped as the schools have filled past their capacity to manage both the IDPs and classes. Local authorities are making every effort to ensure that children have access to the education which is their right. In the camps that the Assessment Team visited classes were being held wherever possible. However, the continued and unavoidable use of schools as IDP centres will have a negative effect on the education of school children of all ages in the medium to long term. Recommendations: 13 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 18. 1. The IASC Country Team should work in support of the Education Cluster Leads to address the medium to long term issue of the closure of educational facilities in order to mitigate wherever possible the impact upon students that this is currently having and will have in the future. 7. Protection The repeated cycle of displacement and violence is leading to widespread anguish and trauma amongst the IDPs. Psychosocial interventions are required and IASC partners should investigate support to local authorities through the provision of counselling services or train the trainer programmes. Due to the ad- hoc nature of the sites, protection concerns with regards to site planning, camp management, lighting and ease of access due to lack of fencing were noted. As much of the assessment was based on observation and only limited interaction, it was not possible to assess other protection issues such as GBV. Another issue that should be given priority is the impact of the conflict to mental health and psychosocial well-being. IDPs have started to return to their normal daily routines of farming and fishing and some children have returned to school. However, a significant number of IDPs who are psychologically distressed cannot go back, not only out of fear for their safety, but also because they have lost their belongings and homes which were either destroyed during the fighting or severely damaged during the flooding which followed Typhoon Frank. These IDPs are in need of community-based psychosocial support. Recommendations 1. The IASC Country Team should work in support of the Protection Cluster Leads to support and strengthen existing protection initiatives within the wider framework of a comprehensive strategy for linking protection of, and assistance to IDPs, as agreed with national counterparts. In planning support to the national response the following should be considered: • Support to vulnerability assessments; • The coordinated programming of assistance; • Promotion of protection in the design of assistance programmes; • Support to community-based protection initiatives; • Targeted protection initiatives for vulnerable groups, and; • Promoting protection in the design of return/reintegration or resettlement/integration programmes. 2. The IASC Country Team should commit resources to the operational monitoring and reporting of ongoing protection initiatives including grave child rights violations stipulated in Security Council Resolution 1612. 3. Psychosocial support not only to IDPs but also to local service providers 4. Establishment of child-friendly spaces. 8. Early Recovery The Assessment Team was very impressed to see early recovery planning well underway in some of the areas which they visited. From the team’s experience these plans usually focus on the repair or replacement of critical infrastructure damaged or destroyed in the fighting such as roads, schools, houses and public facilities. It is very much hoped that they will also focus on livelihood generation more 14 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 19. generally, understanding that the loss not only of crops, but of livestock and farm machinery, will seriously affect income generation in the region for months to come. In addition, whilst programmes are available to train those in need for alternate livelihoods there is no market for such labour. The more basic livelihood programmes and activities focused on ensuring the rehabilitation or restoration of the food security at the family level are highly desirable. As in all other areas, careful monitoring of IDP returns and activities will enable local authorities and their partners to establish best practice for targeted support to returnees during the recovery phase. Recommendations 1. The IASC Country Team are encouraged to further strengthen and implement new livelihood generation focused programmes which will give IDPs, who have lost everything else, the opportunity to be productive and provide for themselves and their dependents. 9. Logistics Given geographical constraints and other than impeded access to IDP locations due to both the flooding and the fighting, the team did not note any serious logistical constraints on ongoing local relief operations. There are however significant constraints on IASC partners who have relatively few staff and limited equipment within the conflict affected areas of Mindanao. Of particular note was the limited number of MOSS compliant vehicles. Although vehicles can reach Mindanao from Manila in a relatively short time, an accurate figure of what IASC partners currently have in the local area would inform planning. Recommendations 1. As a part of the IASC Inter Agency Contingency Planning Process, the IASC Country Team should consider conducting a logistics mapping exercise focusing on assessing the capacities and limitations of the logistical hubs. 10. Security Staff Safety and Security: the UN Security Phase for Mindanao is Phase III and the safety and security of humanitarian aid workers in the conflict affected areas of Mindanao is a cause for concern. Neither the MILF nor AFP fight on front lines and both are highly mobile which means that fighting can break out where least expected. Constant contact with all parties to the conflict and local authorities is advised prior to and when travelling to ensure that staff are not caught up in military or MILF operations. UN agencies, funds and programmes should follow the advice of their security staff and the applicable minimum operating security standards (MOSS) noting that in staff safety and security, as in other programme support areas, there are very limited assets. Limited VHF coverage and intermittent HF and Satellite Telephone coverage are also a concern. A communications mapping exercise should be conducted to allow for critical communications issues to be addressed. Recommendations 1. The safety of IDPs remains a serious concern. The IASC Country Team should carefully monitor the developing situation and continue to advocate for the protection of civilians and respect by all parties for the recognised rules of International Humanitarian Law (IHL); 2. As a part of the IASC Inter Agency Contingency Planning Process, the implementation of which is one of the key recommendations of this report, the IASC Country Team should task their security staff to work in conjunction with the UNDSS Security Advisor in order to map the 15 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 20. current safety and security infrastructure in place in Mindanao and make recommendations for the strengthening and augmentation it would require to support a full humanitarian response. It must be understood by U agencies, funds and programmes that the current security infrastructure cannot support the deployment of more than a few staff to Mindanao and still maintain Minimum Operating Security Standards (MOSS), and; 3. As a part of the IASC Inter Agency Contingency Planning Process, the implementation of which is one of the key recommendations of this report, the IASC Country Team should task the relevant body to conduct a communications mapping exercise which should determine communications coverage and ‘dead spots’ in order to recommend suitable solutions which would enhance current operations or could support a larger humanitarian response. 11. Coordination As described elsewhere in this document, the humanitarian response followed established plans with the Local Government Units (LGUs) and Municipal Disaster Coordinating Councils (MDCCs) managing the first response with the support, guidance and coordination of the Provincial Disaster Coordinating Councils (PDCCs). The PDCCs were in turn supported by the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council RDCC with the entire operation managed at the national level from the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC). Whilst this structure is functional the Assessment Team received a number of reports that some humanitarian organisations were not coordinating their activities with the authorities. It is clear that IASC partners should work within the structures established and coordinate closely with the proper authorities at all levels. Requests for assistance from local authorities should be routed through the established cluster system and NDCC to ensure the coordinated provision of assistance and avoid duplication of effort. Recommendations 1. The IASC Country Team should continue to work in support of established national and local disaster management and response structures; 2. The IASC Country Team should publicly recognise and reaffirm the need for all parties to work within the framework of existing government response structures and mechanisms in order to ensure the coordinated and effective delivery of assistance, and; 3. The IASC Country Team should ensure that requests for assistance from local authorities are routed through the established cluster system and NDCC to ensure the coordinated provision of assistance and avoid duplication of effort. 4. Broad Inter Agency appeals from IASC members, covering various cluster areas, should be vetted by the IASC before dissemination to donors to avoid presentation of conflicting data by IASC members, avoid potential duplication of effort, and reinforce the IASC and cluster system of disaster response coordination. F. Conclusions and Recommendations Conclusion The national response to the humanitarian consequences of the current outbreak of fighting in Mindanao has, in general, been good. Well coordinated and directed response operations are meeting most of the humanitarian needs and in the areas that the Assessment Team visited Lanao del Norte and North Cotobato were particularly strong. However, given the complexity of the situation there are areas in which the local response requires the support of the IASC Country Team. Targeted humanitarian interventions in support of local authorities are urgently required in the areas of Camp Management, WASH, Health – with a particular emphasis on psychosocial support - and Food. These interventions, if 16 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 21. launched promptly, will prevent the existing situation both inside and outside ECs from worsening. These interventions should be combined with strengthened and expanded development programmes particularly those with a livelihood generation focus that address issues at the root of the current conflict. _______________ General Recommendations for IASC CT Consideration 1. Targeted humanitarian assistance interventions by IASC partners in support of local authorities to be undertaken as soon as possible in the areas of Camp Management, WASH, Health – with a particular focus on psychosocial support - and Food, as detailed in the tables below; 2. Strengthening of existing development programmes and launch of new development focused initiatives to tackle the root causes of the conflict to be considered by all IASC partners, and; 3. IASC Inter Agency Contingency Planning for a humanitarian response operation to Mindanao in support of national and local authorities to be undertaken as soon as possible. Recommendations by Thematic Area: HEALTH Endorsed by IASC # Recommendation CT YES O Support ongoing clinical and preventive interventions through 1 provision of medicines, especially for children, including de- worming tablets, midwifery kits and EPI supplies. Support the strengthening of maternal and child health care in 2 strategic EC with large populations. Conduct culturally sensitive health promotion and education 3 activities with IDPs participation and provision of IEC materials on health, nutrition and WASH during emergency. To ensure availability of medicines and other medical, surgical and WASH supplies on sites, stockpiling of essential supplies on health, 4 nutrition and WASH should be explored in close coordination with humanitarian partners. WASH Endorsed by IASC # Recommendation CT YES O 17 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 22. Address WASH gaps to ensure the availability of a minimum safe drinking water supply taking into account the privacy, dignity and 1 security of women and girls, improvement of safe excreta and solid waste management, and construction of appropriate sanitary facilities. Augment the support provided by partners by the provision of water storage containers, water purifiers, hygiene kits, non-food item such 2 as family packs such as mats, plastic sheaths, footwear and kitchen utensils.. FOOD Endorsed by IASC # Recommendation CT YES O The provision of food aid to IDPs should continue at both evacuation 1 centres and in the host families as validated and endorsed by local authorities; 2 The food basket should include but not limited to rice, oil and pulses; The food aid should be provided for at least two months or until 3 IDPs have returned to their respective communities; Displaced families who return to their respective communities 4 should be given food aid through food for work and or food for training on a case by case basis; Food for work projects should focus on the rehabilitation, and or restoration, of IDPs livelihoods such as irrigation systems, farm 5 plots, farm to market roads and other public facilities such as schools, health centres and facilities destroyed during the conflict and or during typhoon frank, and; Food for training should also be implemented with a focus on 6 enhancement of skills that diversify IDP’s potential income sources. CAMP MA AGEME T A D SHELTER Endorsed by IASC # Recommendation CT YES O Internal camp management (and camp coordination) operational guidelines should be mainstreamed within community-based teams present in areas (or potential areas) of displacement for 1 troubleshooting, responding to newly emerging scenarios over varied geographical areas, monitoring and reporting on emerging trends, and providing early warning on possible political/environmental developments. 18 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 23. UTRITIO Endorsed by IASC # Recommendation CT YES O 1 Provide targeted food assistance to pregnant and lactating women; Promotion of breastfeeding and conduct of nutrition education, and; 2 Micronutrient supplementation to address hidden hunger among the 3 vulnerable age groups. EDUCATIO Endorsed by IASC # Recommendation CT YES O The IASC Country Team should work in support of the Education Cluster Leads to address the medium to long term issue of the closure 1 of educational facilities in order to mitigate wherever possible the impact upon students that this is currently having and will have in the future. PROTECTIO Endorsed by IASC # Recommendation CT YES O The IASC Country Team should work in support of the Protection Cluster Leads to support and strengthen existing protection initiatives within the wider framework of a comprehensive strategy for linking protection of, and assistance to IDPs, as agreed with National counterparts. In planning support to the national response the following should be considered: 1 • Support to vulnerability assessments; • The coordinated programming of assistance; • Promotion of protection in the design of assistance programs; • Support to community based protection initiatives; • Targeted protection initiatives for vulnerable groups, and; 19 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 24. • Promoting protection in the design of return/reintegration or resettlement/integration Programmes. The IASC Country Team should commit resources to the operational monitoring and reporting of ongoing protection initiatives including 2 grave child rights violations stipulated in Security Council Resolution 1612.. Psychosocial support not only to IDPs but also to local service 3 providers 4 Establishment of child-friendly spaces. EARLY RECOVERY Endorsed by IASC # Recommendation CT YES O The IASC Country Team are encouraged to further strengthen and implement new livelihood generation focussed programmes which 1 will give IDPs, who have lost everything else, the opportunity to be productive and provide for themselves and their dependents. LOGISTICS Endorsed by IASC # Recommendation CT YES O As a part of the IASC Inter Agency Contingency Planning Process, the IASC Country Team should consider conducting a logistics 1 mapping exercise focusing on assessing the capacities and limitations of the logistical hubs. SECURITY Endorsed by IASC # Recommendation CT YES O 20 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 25. The safety of IDPs remains a serious concern. The IASC Country Team should carefully monitor the developing situation and continue 1 to advocate for the protection of civilians and respect by all parties for the recognised rules of International Humanitarian Law (IHL); As a part of the IASC Inter Agency Contingency Planning Process, the implementation of which is one of the key recommendations of this report, the IASC Country Team should task their security staff to work in conjunction with the UNDSS Security Advisor in order to map current the current safety and security infrastructure in place in Mindanao and make recommendations for the strengthening and 2 augmentation it would require to support a full humanitarian response. It must be understood by U agencies, funds and programmes that the current security infrastructure cannot support the deployment of more than a few staff to Mindanao and still maintain Minimum Operating Security Standards (MOSS), and; As a part of the IASC Inter Agency Contingency Planning Process, the implementation of which is one of the key recommendations of this report, the IASC Country Team should task the relevant body to 3 conduct a communications mapping exercise which should determine communications coverage and ‘dead spots’ in order to recommend suitable solutions which would enhance current operations or could support a larger humanitarian response. COORDI ATIO Endorsed by IASC # Recommendation CT YES O The IASC Country Team should continue to work in support of 1 established national and local disaster management and response structures; The IASC Country Team should publicly recognise and reaffirm the need for all parties to work within the framework of existing 2 government response structures and mechanisms in order to ensure the coordinated and effective delivery of assistance, and; The IASC Country Team should ensure that requests for assistance from local authorities are routed through the established cluster 3 system and NDCC to ensure the coordinated provision of assistance and avoid duplication of effort. Broad Inter Agency appeals from IASC members, covering various cluster areas, should be vetted by the IASC before dissemination to 4 donors to avoid presentation of conflicting data by IASC members, avoid potential duplication of effort, and reinforce the IASC and cluster system of disaster response coordination. 21 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 26. E D **************************** Annex A: Abbreviations and Acronyms ARMM Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao ASG Abu Sayaff Group BDA Bangsamoro Development Authority CCCH Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities EC Evacuation Centres GRP Government of the Republic of the Philippines IASC Inter-Agency Standing Committee ICRC International Committee of the Red Cross ID Infantry Division IDP Internally Displaced Persons IDMC Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre IMT International Monitoring Team IOM International Organization for Migration IPHO Integrated Provincial Health Office JI Jemaah Islamiyah KFR Kidnap for Ransom MILF Moro Islamic Liberation Front MNLF Moro National Liberation Front MOA-AD Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain MDCC Municipal Disaster Coordinating Council NDCC National Disaster Coordinating Council PDCC Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council NPA New People’s Army OCD Office of Civil Defence OCHA Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs PDCC Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council PSWDO Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office RDCC Regional Disaster Coordinating Council RHU Regional Health Unit SoCCSKSarGen South Cotabato, Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani and General Santos City SOP Standard Operating Procedure TRO Temporary Restraining Order UNDSS United Nations Department of Safety and Security UNICEF United Nations Children's Fund WASH Water, Sanitation and Hygiene WFP World Food Programme 22 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 27. Annex B Record of Assessment Team Mission Activities Rapid Needs Assessment Mission # Time Scheduled Activity Actual Activity if Different Comment Day 1 - September 4 0510H Depart Manila Flt # PR181 1 2 0650H Arrive in Cagayan De Oro Travel to Tubod, Lanao Del Norte 3 0730H - 1100H (LDN) The provincial administrator and Meeting with LDN provincial Meeting with Provincial Governor PSWDO give a brief on the current IDP 4 1100H - 1200H administrator Mr. Joselito Quibranza and and PDCC situation in LDN and the status of their PSWDO intervention. The team visited the evacuation sites in the municipalities of Kolambugan and Local Assessment at Barangays Kauswagan in Lanao del Norte. Most of Local Assessment - Kolambugan, Kolasihan, Riverside and Muntay in the IDP's already returned to their place 5 1200H - 1500H Kolasihan, Balugohay Kolambugan and Barangay Poblacion in of origin but some still remain due to Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte. insecurity while some have no houses as it were damaged/burned during the attack. 6 1500H - 1700H Travel to Iligan City Team Meeting to discuss days 7 1700H findings 1 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 28. 8 Evening Work on Preparation of Report Work on Preparation of Report # Time Scheduled Activity Actual Activity if Different Comment Day 2, September 5 1 0645H Team Briefing Met with other NGO's working in Lanao Travelled to Tubod, Lanao Del Norte to Depart for Kauswagan and Del Norte and discussed further 2 0700H attend the coordination meeting with Linamon coordination in humanitarian efforts in NGO's. the area. Depart for Cagayan De Oro 3 1200H - 1430H Travelled to Cagayan De Oro City Airport 4 1550H Depart from CDO Flt # PR186 5 1725H Arrive in Manila # Time Scheduled Activity Actual Activity if Different Comment Day 3 - September 7 1 1225H Depart for Cotabato Flt # PR187 2 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 29. 2 1415H Arrive in Cotabato 3 1425H Arrive in Cotabato City The team met with 6th Infantry Division Meeting with 6th ID (Camp Chief of Staff Col. Bernardo and G7 4 1530H - 1630H Siongko, Awang, DOS) Col. Julieto Ando and discussed the security situation in Central Mindanao. Team Meeting to discuss days 5 1700H findings 6 Evening Work on Preparation of Report # Time Scheduled Activity Actual Activity if Different Comment Day 4, September 8 1 0700H Team Briefing The team met with MILF vice Chairman for Political Affairs Ghadzali Jaafar, Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) 2 0800H - 0900H Meeting with MILF Chairman Toks Ibrahim and some ground commanders and discussed the stand of the MILF on the scrapping of the MOA-AD and the military offensive against Commanders Kato and Bravo. 3 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 30. The team met with Shariff Kabunsuan provincial Governor Ibrahim Ibay, Meeting with Shariff Kabunsuan 3 0930H - 1030H` PSWDO and provincial staff about the Governor and PDCC IDP situation of the province and their critical needs. The team visited evacuation centres in Datu Piang and discussed with the Meeting with Maguindanao 4 1100H - 1200H Site visit in Datu Piang, Maguindanao PSWDO of Maguindanao and municipal Governor and PDCC officials the current IDP situation and their critical needs. Met with provincial administrator Norie Unas, PSWDO and IPHO and Meeting with Maguindanao Meeting with Maguindanao provincial 5 1300H - 1500H discussed the current IDP situation in Governor and PDCC administrator Maguindanao, interventions and the critical needs. 6 1500H - 1700H Depart for Kidapawan City 7 Overnight in Kidapawan City Team Meeting to discuss days 8 1700H findings 9 Evening Work on Preparation of Report # Time Scheduled Activity Actual Activity if Different Comment Day 5, September 9 4 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 31. 1 0700H Team Briefing The team met with Governor Jesus Sacdalan, PSWDO, IPHO, Provincial Engineer, Provincial Agriculture Office and other provincial staff and discussed the IDP situation in the area and their Meeting with Governor Sacdalan critical needs. Most of the IDP's 2 0800H - 0900H (North Cotabato) and PDCC returned to their houses but some remain in evacuation centres (EC) and with their relatives. There are also families who are staying at the EC's during night time due to security reasons. 0900H - 1000H Depart for Pikit Visited evacuation centres in Barangay Visit at Pikit and Midsayap Visit at Pikit Aleosan and Pigcawayan Takepan, Pikit; Barangay Dualing in 3 1100H - 1400H Evacuation Centre Evacuation Centre Aleosan and Barangay Libunga Toreta in Pigcawayan. 4 1430H Depart for Cotabato City The team met with representatives from Save the Children, Non Violent Peace Meeting with NGO's based in Cotabato 5 1600H - 1700H Meeting with ICRC Force, Bangsamoro Development City Authority (BDA), and ACF and shared the initial findings of the mission. The team met with the ICRC team Team Meeting to discuss days based in Cotabato City and shared the 6 1700H Meeting with ICRC findings initial findings of the mission and shared views on the current IDP situation. 5 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 32. 7 Evening Work on Preparation of Report # Time Scheduled Activity Actual Activity if Different Comment Day 6, September 10 1 0700H Team Briefing Met with the IMT members of the led by Meeting with International Dato Pahlawan Amza B. Solaiman and 2 0800H - 0900H Monitoring Team discussed about their view on the current situation and future possibilities. The team joined the RDCC meeting led by ARMM Solicitor General Cynthia Guiani Sayadi, wherein the Department Meeting with ARMM Regional Governor Meeting with ARMM Regional of Social Welfare and Development, 3 0930H - 1030H and Regional Disaster Coordinating Governor Department of Health and Office of the Council (RDCC) Civil Defence of ARMM reported the current IDP situation and their critical needs. Team Meeting to discuss days 4 1100H - 1400H findings 5 1500H Depart for Manila 6 1700H Arrive in Manila 6 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 33. # Time Scheduled Activity Actual Activity if Different Comment Day 7, September 11 0900H - 1500H Meet to finalise report # Time Scheduled Activity Actual Activity if Different Comment Day 8, September 12 Brief Secretary Duque MOH, 0930H NDCC and other Key Partners 1400H Brief IASC CT 1530H Brief Donors 7 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008
  • 34. Annex D Assessment Team Members Team Leader Mr. Sebastian Rhodes Stampa Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific OCHA Health, Nutrition and WASH Dr. Martha Cayad-an Health Specialist, Maternal & Newborn Care UNICEF Philippines Food Mr. Mishael Argonza Programme Officer WFP Philippines Camp Management and Shelter, Ms. Ida Mae Fernandez Regional Programme Officer IOM Mission with Regional Functions – Manila Communications and Security issues Mr. Bonnie Singayao Security Assistant WFP Philippines WASH and Health Ms. Regina Paypa Public Health Team Leader Cotobato Oxfam GB Protection, Educations, Early Recovery, Logistics and Coordination were areas covered in collaboration with all of the team members. 1 Report of the IASC Country Team in the Philippines on the Rapid Initial Needs Assessment in Mindanao 13 September 2008