Philippines: Government order on IDP camps raises concerns

Published on 16 February 2009

A government order for tens of thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs) to move out of camps on southern Mindanao island could expose them to grave danger, as sporadic fighting between government troops and Muslim separatist rebels continues, according to aid workers. [...] Stephen Anderson, World Food Programme (WFP) country director in the Philippines, told IRIN that while the overall situation seemed to have improved, with local governments helping the displaced, people still feared being caught in the crossfire. "Most of the people here are not keen to go back because they do not feel the security situation has improved," Anderson said on 16 February. "In some cases people have lost their homes, and many have lost their livelihoods. This is a big dilemma in fact, because large numbers remain displaced."

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