Nine months after fighting stopped between a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and government troops in Zamboanga, a reported 40,000 people remain displaced from their homes and largely dependent on humanitarian assistance.
"These people struggle every day to make ends meet. Not knowing when they will be able to resume their normal lives is a tremendous burden on an already exhausted community," said Gareth Gleed, the delegate in charge of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) efforts in Zamboanga.
Poor sanitation practices and unsuitable facilities in evacuation centers along the Cawa-Cawa shoreline and the Joaquin Enriquez Stadium, still housing 17,000 displaced, make the conditions prone to disease.
In a bid to improve the overall health situation, the ICRC is refurbishing health stations damaged in the fighting, and providing medicines, other supplies and technical and financial support to local health authorities and the Zamboanga City Medical Center.