UNFPA reiterates commitment to help Zambo IDPs PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 07 December 2014 13:56

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has reiterated its commitment to continue to help the internally-displaced persons (IDPs) here, citing that many of them especially women and children need assistance.

“We remain committed to help Zamboanga and the IDPs,” said UNFPA country representative Klaus Beck during his visit here Tuesday.

Beck emphasized that he recognized the efforts done by the local government and national government agencies, however, “the conditions of 25,000 evacuees still living in evacuation centers and transitory sites require durable solutions.”

Among the concerns Beck enumerated include health concerns, “especially for the Badjaos whose poor health seeking behavior and health practices lead to maternal and child mortality and morbidity.”

Aside from health issues, Beck said that protection issues for girls and women in evacuation centers, especially in the Grandstand remain.

“We must join hands in addressing these issues,” he said.

Meanwhile, Department of Social Welfare and Development regional director Zenaida Arevalo said that “the local and national government as well as humanitarian partners have been exhausting all possible means to help the IDPs”, however “in spite of these efforts, we may not be able to provide for all their needs.”

On Tuesday, the UNFPA turned over several birthing equipment to be used in the health stations established in the conflict-affected barangays. Women-Friendly Spaces (WFS), which is seen to be a one-stop show for women needing special services related to prevention and management of cases of gender-based violence were also inaugurated in Masepla and Buggoc transit sites as well as in Arena Blanco. The WFS will also serve as a venue to raise awareness on women’s issues.

A Violence Against Women (VAW) desk was also turned over to Sta. Catalina. Barangay chairman Jimmy Villaflores said that the desk will be very helpful in dealing with gender-based violence cases in the community since he has noted that many women are victims.

Meanwhile, Mayor Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar said that there are many cases of abuses done to women and children, especially those who are in the evacuation centers and transitory sites. “There have been cases of child abuse and even incest, and prostitution. We need all the help we can get.” — FPG/DIS/PIA9-ZBST