Category Archives: UN in the Philippines Press Releases

IOM supports displaced persons and communities in fight against COVID-19 in the Philippines

Handwashing facility in Bagong Evacuation Centre, Kidapawan, Cotabato Province, southern Philippines. Photo: IOM

MANILA, Philippines – As the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases rises in the Philippines, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is focusing on supporting against the spread of the pandemic the most vulnerable internally displaced persons (IDPs) and communities across the southern region of Mindanao.

Natural disasters and recurrent conflict have left nearly 300,000 IDPs across the country, primarily in Mindanao. IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) reveals these IDP communities lack access to basic livelihoods, live in close confinement in evacuation centres, and have limited access to health, water, sanitation and hygiene – all factors that significantly increase the risk of COVID-19 community transmission.

With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases on 21 April reaching 6,459 – with 428 deaths – in a country of over 106 million people, IDPs and surrounding communities are considered particularly vulnerable.

Since October 2019, IOM has been working with local government units in the North Cotabato earthquake-affected areas to provide emergency and life-saving assistance, including shelter, camp management assistance and cash support to poor IDPs. Most of the nearly 200,000 earthquake-induced displaced people (more than 48,000 families), are staying in either makeshift shelters exposed to extreme weather elements, or in overcrowded evacuation centres with limited Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities.

Because these living conditions put them at a higher risk of contracting and developing the infectious disease, IOM has been rapidly increasing its activities to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the IDP communities. That effort has included the construction of 75 WASH facilities – latrines, handwashing stations, and bathing cubicles – in the displacement sites across North Cotabato. Community hygiene and disinfection kits also have been distributed to vulnerable sites to promote infection prevention in communal areas.

Finally, IOM is supporting local COVID-19 contingency planning, focusing on inclusion of communities in camp or camp-like settings.

Kristin Dadey, IOM Chief of Mission in the Philippines said, “We are racing against the clock to work with local government to implement initiatives that will protect the most fragile and displaced populations against COVID-19. This includes building additional water and sanitation facilities in the evacuation centres and implementing cash-for-work schemes that help poor families with no livelihoods to access essential supplies – such as food and medicines. With this, we aim to ensure socioeconomic protection for the IDPs as COVID-19 is having a devasting impact on the local economy.”

The activities are supported by funding from USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and from United Nations Member States through the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

As part of IOM’s revised global COVID-19 Response Plan, the IOM Mission in the Philippines requires USD 6.3 million to support the Government’s efforts to address the health and socio-economic consequences of the pandemic.

For further information, please contact Troy Dooley at IOM Philippines, Tel: +639178133601, Email: tdooley@iom.int

UN Philippines Press Release: United Nations System in The Philippines Condemns Jolo Cathedral Bombing

Manila, 27 January 2019–On behalf of the United Nations System in the Philippines, we were shocked to learn of the bombing earlier today at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Jolo, Sulu.

We express our deepest condolences with the victims of this attack, civilian and security
personnel alike, and offer our sympathy to all affected communities in Sulu. The United Nations condemns the attack, and any form of violent extremism, and we hope that the perpetrators can quickly be identified and brought to justice.

The United Nations stands in solidarity with all who have been affected by this cowardly act. That it occurs at a historical moment in the peace process in Bangsamoro should strengthen the joint resolve of all responsible parties to pursue lasting peace in a region that has suffered from conflict for far too long.

Manila, 27 January 2019

Ola Almgren
Resident Coordinator

Philippines celebrates 70th Anniversary of the United Nations

SM MOA globe lit UN Blue

Manila, 23 October 2015 – ‘Strong UN. Better World” is the global theme as the United Nations (UN) marks its 70th anniversary on 24 October 2015.  The UN Philippines in collaboration with the Government of the Philippines is holding a series of activities to celebrate seven decades of partnership.

“The year 2015 is momentous for the United Nations. The development agenda for the coming 15 years has just been agreed by Member States – including the Philippines – the 2030 Agenda encapsulated in the shape of Sustainable Development Goals or the Global Goals,” UN Philippines Resident Coordinator Ola Almgren said today in his welcome remarks in a Department of Foreign Affairs and UN joint event held at the SM Mall of Asia to celebrate UN70.  The event was joined by senior Government and UN officials, diplomats and dignitaries, partners and the media.

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