The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) reported that displaced individuals caused by the on-going armed conflict in the City of Marawi has already reached an alarming number of 218,665 individuals since the war broke on 23 May.
Rosela, one mother who recently escaped the war, was quoted by the Philippine Star, "these were the longest days of our lives," as she expressed fears that she might lose any of her family members.
Aside from the 43,733 families displaced, school classes will also be disrupted for 22,000 elementary and high school students as a result of bloody clashes including sporadic gunfire and airstrikes.
Dozens of humanitarian organisations also have flooded neighbouring towns to set up temporary satellite action centers to assist thousands of IDPs in neighboring towns. They have been assisting IDPs to ensure their rights are not violated.
World Vision, which was among the first batch of humanitarian organisations deployed in the conflict area, distributed hygiene kits, sleeping items, mosquito nets to 2,000 families. The organisation is also coordinating with the Department of Education to address the education crisis in Marawi so they can also establish child-friendly spaces for displaced children who could learn psycho-social care to cope from any traumatic experiences.
In a related development, UNICEF team also deployed personnel to implement the emergency WASH (Water Sanitation Hygiene) program to ensure that children continue to observe proper hygiene to prevent child-related diseases particularly caused by soil helminths.
Like World Vision, UNICEF also facilitated to set up the Child Friendly Spaces serving as their temporary learning centers.
While the Philippines government earlier targeted to end the conflict last June 2, the armed conflict continued and the Philippines military continue to launch air strikes on identified rebel strongholds at the heart of Marawi's town center.
The death toll has already reached 202, which include 134 terrorists, 38 Philippine soldiers and 30 civilians. Despite the rise of death toll, the Armed Forces of the Philippines announced that their priority is to secure the safety of the civilian hostages being held by the Maute militant groups.