26 July 2013
ARMM, UN agency collaborate in emergency response effort
COTABATO CITY- The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) government gets support from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the establishment of the ARMM Humanitarian Emergency Action and Response Team (HEART), an emergency rapid response team intended to help curtail impact of disasters in the region.
The two parties inked a memorandum of agreement Thursday afternoon to formalize and outline their collaboration, with the UNHCR giving an initial funding of US$20,000 to help bankroll the launching of the program in identified pilot areas.
UNHCR has earmarked a total of US$100,000 for the program, in addition to the technical support and a vehicle it is going to provide to the response team.
ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman said they are pushing for the creation of the ARMM HEART in view of the huge humanitarian impact of man-made and natural disasters in parts of the region.
Data gathered by the UNHCR and the Regional Human Rights Commission for ARMM show that at least 54,745 persons have experienced various displacements in ARMM over the last 18 months.
A breakdown of the cumulative data reveals natural disasters as the leading cause of displacements in the ARMM, accounting for 57% of total displacements or 199,979 persons, followed by armed conflict at 20% (70,989 persons), crime and violence at 12% (41,587 persons) and rido or clan feuds at 11% (40,885 persons).
Lawyer Laisa Alamia, the region’s executive secretary, said that apart from responding to emergencies, ARMM HEART will help ensure the protection of internally displaced persons.
The autonomous region groups the island-provinces of Basilan Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and the mainland-provinces of Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur. (BPI)