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Gov’t can meet needs of 500,000 Mindanao evacuees

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 18:05:00 09/24/2008

MANILA, Philippines — The government maintained on Wednesday that it has enough funds to address the needs of the estimated 500,000 people displaced by fighting between the military and Moro rebels in Mindanao.

Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita issued the statement amid a warning from an official of the United Nations World Food Program that the situation of the evacuees could deteriorate as full military offensives resume at the end of the Mudlim holy month of Ramadan.

“What I can say is we are still capable of attending to the needs of the IDPs [internally displaced persons]. We are able to sustain our support for the IDPs,” Ermita said.

While foreign assistance is “welcome,” Ermita said there is no need for this yet.

Since fighting erupted last month, the government has extended P91 million in assistance to those displaced by the fighting, which was sparked by attacks by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on civilian communities in Lanao del Norte and North Cotabato provinces.

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Written by joelguinto

WedUTC2008-09-24T12:58:59+00:00UTC09bUTCWed, 24 Sep 2008 12:58:59 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm09

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