Red Cross Boosts Capacity In Sulu ProvinceJanuary 22, 2008 at 6:02 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment
An unidentified Muslim member of the international non-government organization, Asia America Initiative, has her face painted during the group’s Fun Day in Sulu province in southern Philippines, where the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Philippine National Red Cross inaugurated new premises on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2008. (Mindanao Examiner Photo/Nickee Butlangan)
SULU, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Jan. 22, 2008) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) inaugurated new premises for the local PNRC chapter in Jolo, the capital of Sulu province in the southern Philippines.
“The chapter’s improved facilities are intended to enhance the response of the PNRC and ICRC to the growing needs of Sulu communities,” Felipe Donoso, the ICRC’s head of delegation in the Philippines said in a statement. “These communities are suffering the effects of repeated armed clashes between the armed forces of the Philippines and insurgent groups.”
In its capacity as a neutral and independent organization, and in cooperation with the PNRC’s Jolo chapter, the ICRC provided medical care, food, shelter, essential household items and water and sanitation facilities to more than 48,000 displaced civilians in the province the past years.
Local government and military officials said the refugees have long returned to their homes.
The ICRC and PNRC were able to provide this humanitarian aid on the basis of security guarantees given by the parties to the conflict. In response to mounting humanitarian needs in Sulu, the ICRC has been gradually stepping up its support to the PNRC since 2005.
The ICRC consistently reminds the parties to the armed conflict of their obligations under international humanitarian law. In particular, it calls on them to respect and protect the civilian population and to allow the distribution of humanitarian relief in accordance with the population’s needs and without discriminating on the basis of politics, race, religion or sex.
Both the ICRC and PNRC remain committed to providing humanitarian assistance and protection for the victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence.(With reports from Nickee Butlangan and ICRC)