Report from UN Children's Fund
Published on 31 May 2017
On 23 May, President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law for the entire Mindanao region in the Philippines. This followed the outbreak of armed conflict between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Maute Group, a local non-state armed group that has claimed allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh), in Marawi City in Lanao del Sur Province, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Mass evacuations took place as local residents left and sought refuge in identified safe areas in Marawi City and adjacent areas of Lanao del Sur (ARMM), and Lanao del Norte including Iligan City as well as in Cagayan de Oro City (Region X). As of May 30, 140,1551 individuals, half assumed to be children are seeking shelter in local government run evacuation centers or are being hosted by relatives and friends in surrounding areas. Approximately 24,000 individuals are estimated to be in recognized evacuation centers with the greatest majority of individuals (109,510) in host arrangements. By all indications, the numbers of those displaced is expected to continue to climb as the military continue their operations in the area. No current information disaggregates numbers by gender or age, but a disproportionate number of those in evacuation centers are reported to be women.
Currently, Marawi City is under the control of government but with some areas on the outskirts still subject to armed clashes. Assessments in areas surrounding Marawi City and in evacuation centers have been initiated. Access to areas affected by direct conflict is limited and as a consequence the humanitarian needs there are unknown. It is assumed that in these areas food stocks and water supplies maybe limited. Children left behind and separated from caregivers and family members in these communities have been identified as especially vulnerable.