UNHCR and UNIQLO return to Marawi for World Humanitarian Day
On May 23, 2017, attacks at the city of Marawi, Lanao del Sur, have been reported all over the country. It was an armed encounter between the Philippine army and members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The fight lasted for at least five months, with the President of the Philippines declaring Martial Law in the area.
The conflict was resolved with the Philippine Army victory but it left thousands homeless and hundreds of lives were lost. Civilians were affected and there were casualties from their side as well. Slowly but surely, though, the lives of those affected are slowly returning back to normal.
There are still currently over 2,000 families displaced by the conflict but there are groups that still reach out to provide help to those affected.
On August 19, 2019, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and UNIQLO, which is a global retailer, visited Marawi to continue providing help, as well as to commemorate the World Humanitarian Day. This is also the second time that they have visited the city.
Through their efforts alone, UNIQLO has distributed over 30 million items in 65 countries. In the Philippines alone, they have donated more than 1 million clothes to those that were affected by the typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in 2014 and the residents of Zamboanga that were affected by armed conflict in 2015.
“Two years after the conflict, while the Philippine Government continues its recovery and rehabilitation efforts, displaced and returned families in Marawi remain facing significant challenges, such as lack of access to basic services and insufficient livelihood opportunities. Today, we honor the world’s humanitarians by joining the affected communities most in need through the provision of humanitarian assistance,”
Along with celebrating World Humanitarian Day, the UNHCR also celebrated the women humanitarians as they make up almost half the workforce.
UNHCR Representative to the Philippines Shinji Kubo has said that women humanitarians provide strength, determination, and perseverance in times of need.
UNHCR is also not a stranger in helping those in need in the Philippines. For the past 30 years, they have been providing solutions to refugees in line with the Global Compact on Refugees, ending and reducing statelessness under the #IBELONG campaign, and providing protection for people that were displaced by force.
To this day, thousands of people still try to live despite being displaced by the conflict in Marawi, but UNHCR still works hard to show that they can reach out to everyone in need.
The fighting in Marawi City in 2017 has displaced more than 353,000 people, and to this day, thousands continue to live in displacement. UNHCR remains committed to helping displaced families and communities rebuild their lives with life-saving aid and in rebuilding their lives in safety and in dignity. Visit https://donate.unhcr.ph now to help protection internally displaced communities in Mindanao.
Also read: Torogan: The Maranao Royal House