Loren Appeals for Displaced Persons

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Senator Loren B. Legarda has once again called on the national government, various NGOs, and the private sector to extend assistance to hundreds of thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in the country.Legarda also sought educational, medical and livelihood development assistance for IDPs, particularly those caught between the recent tensions in Mindanao.She also urged the national government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to “faithfully observe their truce and to facilitate their peace talks in order to establish permanent peace in Mindanao. We must stop this fighting among brothers and sisters,” she pleaded.More than 2.5 million people have been displaced by armed conflict in the Philippines since 2000, the vast majority in Mindanao, where 62,000 families (or 370,000 persons) are displaced; most of them in Maguindanao Province. Another 3,800 families are reported to be still displaced in Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat Provinces; and 260 families in Lanao del Norte Province.The Philippines ranked first in the number of IDPs worldwide by registering 600,000 evacuees in 2008, according to Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), a Geneva-based body monitoring conflict-induced internal displacement. …