Samaritan’s Purse Brings Relief to People Displaced by ISIS in the Philippines

August 9, 2017 • Philippines
More than 400,000 people have been displaced in the Marawi conflict and are living in overcrowded evacuation centers. Among the most vulnerable are women and children.
More than 400,000 people have been displaced in the Marawi conflict and are living in overcrowded evacuation centers. Among the most vulnerable are women and children.

Families in war-torn Marawi desperately need food and water.

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Samaritan’s Purse is providing emergency relief to Filipinos trapped in a conflict between the nation’s military and an ISIS-affiliated Islamic terrorist group.

More than 400,000 people have been displaced since late May, when Maute rebels attacked and took control of Marawi City. The Islamist rebels have claimed ties with ISIS.

Samaritan's Purse staff are mobilizing community leaders to assist with the response efforts.

Samaritan’s Purse staff are mobilizing community leaders to assist with response efforts.

Marawi is a predominately Muslim city on the island of Mindanao, the Philippines’ second largest island. More than 24,000 displaced people are still living in evacuation centers throughout Mindanao.

“The big evacuation centers are overcrowded, so some families decided to stay in the smaller centers. Unfortunately, aid hardly reaches them,” explained Patrick Gitonga, Samaritan’s Purse Philippines country director.

“[People in] these evacuation centers include pregnant women and women with young children who desperately need help. Our team on the ground is mobilizing key leaders in the community and in evacuation centers who will support us in relief efforts.” 

Serving in Jesus’ Name

Samaritan’s Purse is responding to the needs of displaced families in the least served evacuation centers. We’re distributing non-food items and addressing issues such as water, sanitation, hygiene, and nutrition.

“ISIS burned our home,” one woman told our staff. She and her family were forced to flee Marawi after it was attacked.

Marawi child

Children in evacuation centers have little to eat.

Our staff also met Pamela, who is 31 years old and pregnant. “For days, we have no water because there’s no electricity,” she said. “We’re having a hard time without water.”

Two other pregnant women in the same evacuation center as Pamela recently gave birth but their babies did not survive.

In addition to a lack of water, food is sparse in evacuation centers. In one center where we are working, eggs are the only regular food ration provided in the past week.

“There’s very little or no food provisions and people are hungry,” Patrick said. “One woman shared that the only thing her family was able to bring with them when they fled Marawi was seven cups of rice.”

Pray for the thousands of families whose lives have been disrupted by war and violence. Please also pray for our staff as they minister to these hurting families and seek to share the love of Jesus Christ.

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Philippines Projects Samaritan's Purse is working to improve the quality of life for thousands in the Philippines by providing clean water, hygiene education, and provision of latrines. We are conducting nutrition monitoring for infants and young children and training parents on better feeding practices. Our teams are also helping families recover their livelihoods through bamboo plantations and business training. We partner with the local church, supplying Bibles and offering discipleship courses to help them reach their communities with spiritual care and support.

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