Beng continuously grateful to UN for aid during siege PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 24 August 2016 11:26

By SHEILA COVARRUBIAS

Zamboanga City particularly the families displaced by the 2013 siege are very grateful to the United Nations for the help it has extended during the early recovery and rehabilitation stage.

Thus, stressed Mayor Beng Climaco when asked to comment on President Duterte’s threat to pull the country out of the international body amidst criticisms over his anti-illegal drugs campaign.

“In terms of humanitarian aspect, the UN has helped the city and we are very thankful that they provided the early recovery and rehabilitation support following the 2013 siege, but again, having prerogative as President, we will await the orders of Malacañang on this matter,” Mayor Climaco emphasized.

Through the facilitation of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the city has benefited from the humanitarian support of the UN, she asserted. “And for that,  on behalf of the families and the children, we are very thankful to the UN.”

UN agencies and other international organizations to include the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), United Nations for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA),  World Health Organization (WHO), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC),  International Labour Organization (ILO), International Organization for Migration (IOM), Save the Children International and numerous others came over to the city to provide interventions.

These interventions included Water, sanitation and Health (WASH), education, gender-based violence, nutrition, women and children protection, livelihood, temporary shelter and numerous others.

At present, only the IOM and a number of NGOs funded by UN agencies maintain physical presence in the city and continue to assist the displaced families.

President Duterte in a press conference early Sunday morning in Davao City threatened to withdraw Philippine membership from the UN as expressed ire over the call of two UN special rapporteurs on the Philippine government to stop the wave of killings of people linked to illegal drugs.

However, on Monday, Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. in a newspaper report clarified that the Philippines will not leave the UN saying that withdrawing the country’s UN membership will not be easy.  Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella, in the same newspaper report was quoted to have said that the president was merely expressing his sentiment and was “simply stating the fact that the Philippines is a sovereign nation and should not be meddled with.” — Sheila Covarrubias