24 June 2017

News Story: Displaced residents in Marawi conflict in Philippines hope to return home soon

MANILA, June 23 (Xinhua) -- Casamudin Riga, a displaced Marawi resident temporarily sheltered in an evacuation center, is anxious about the situation of thousands of evacuees that fled the southern Philippine city over the ongoing fighting between government forces and militants allied with the Islamic State (IS).

"Our situation inside the evacuation center is not easy. It's humid during the day, but it's too cold at night. As evacuees, we don't have much choice. I am just grateful because at least my family is complete and safe," said the 51-year-old trader.

Riga voiced his hope that he could return home soon and start his life all over again.

However, the month-long conflict in the southern Philippine city of Marawi marked its first month with no sign of "immediate end in sight," the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in a statement on Friday.

The aid agency said that Riga and the more than 200,000 people displaced by the raging war continue to face many humanitarian needs as fighting continue to rage.

"The situation is far from over. Fighting is ongoing, and civilians who are trapped or are displaced continue to face challenging situations," said Roberto Petronio, head of the ICRC sub-delegation in Mindanao.

Petronio appealed for food, drinking water, sanitation facilities and health care, saying the displaced people need them badly in the coming weeks.

Read the full story at Xinhua