Dear Friends, Colleagues and Partners,
Greetings of Peace and Justice!
The renewed fight between the government troops and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels forced at least 10,358 families in Maguindanao based on the DSWD-ARMM report.
The Mindanao Emergency Response Network (MERN-Central Mindanao) through its lead convenor Mindanao Tulong Bakwet (MTB) conducted three-day ocular inspection and documentation on August 22, 24-25, 2008 in Maguindanao. The group is alarmed over the mounting number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) as the fighting continues.
In evacuation centers, cases of diarrhea, cough, dengue fever, chicken pox and measles are the common illnesses encountered by the IDPs especially women and children. In fact, Seni Wahab, 70-year old woman died at Datu Piang gymnasium evacuation center on 25 August 2008 due to diarrhea. MERN documented five victims of common illnesses in evacuation centers, three of these were children aging one month, 6-month old and 11 years old. Also, various human rights violations against the civilians during the military operations against the group of MILF Commander Ameril Umbra Kato were documented.
The situation had stopped the economic activities of the IDPs and even left their about to harvest crops. It is very hard for the Muslim evacuees to sustain their needs as the holy month of Ramadhan is fast approaching. Supply of foods is highly needed.
In this light, we are appealing to those concern groups and individuals to help us alleviate the level of suffering that the IDPs have been experiencing since the fighting flared-up.
At present, lack of foods, medicines, shelter, sleeping materials, kitchen utensils and water container plagued the IDPs in Maguindanao.
We are anticipating your timely and positive response to this matter. Thank you very much!
MS. FAIRUDZ "ROSE" IBRAHIM EBUS
Executive Director, Mindanao Tulong Bakwet [MTB], Inc.
Lead Convenor, Mindanao Emergency Response Network [MERN]
Door 4 Guiapal Apartment, 38-B Anacleto Badoy Sr., Street
Cotabato City, Philippines
Telefax:  421-9425
Tel No.  421-5521