Mid-Year Review of the Humanitarian Action Plan for the Conflict-Affected Provinces of Mindanao 2011
The cessation of hostilities between the Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) continued to be respected in the first half of the year, furthering the return and resettlement of the internally displaced people. However, the conflict-affected populations’ high level of vulnerability and the perseverance of violence connected to other armed groups and to clan violence (locally referred to as rido) have contributed to the persistence of humanitarian needs. Furthermore, an unusually heavy rainy season which caused extensive flooding in Central Mindanao has had severe consequences for the population. The organizations participating in the mid-year review of the 2011 ‘Humanitarian Action Plan for the Conflict-Affected Provinces of Mindanao’ (HAP) agree that the displaced and the returnees in Central Mindanao, regardless of the cause of displacement, still require humanitarian aid.
Humanitarian partners, clusters and sub-clusters of the Mindanao Humanitarian Team, have had to limit planned response activities due to funding shortfalls. As of mid-June, only seven out of the 24 projects in the original HAP requirements have received funding, both of which are in the Food Security and Agriculture Cluster. The Food Security cluster is on target to achieve a number of its objectives through the success of the WFP-led food-for-work and food-for-training programmes that provide assets for early recovery and support adequate food consumption. However, the majority of the cluster response plans have yet to be implemented. With the scenario agreed for the original HAP remaining valid, most clusters have maintained their original plans following the mid-year review. (The full extent of the needs in response to the flooding has become apparent after the conclusion of this review, prompting the clusters to strengthen their projects to address the consequences of the flooding. A logistics component has since been added to this HAP.)
Several agencies have managed to respond by using funds rolled over from the previous year or from their regular budgets, or by using funds reserved for contingencies; but this is not sustainable. Much of the focus of humanitarian actions has been directed at the return sites where minimal support in health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, livelihoods, and education and psycho-social support for children has been provided. A community-based protection monitoring programme has been piloted in the 46 priority return sites in Maguindanao identified in the Early Recovery Plan of the Government of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Early recovery plans were formulated for 36 of these priority sites.
While focus is on assistance in return sites, there are people who remain displaced either by choice or because they are unable to return due to security and safety concerns, lack of access to basic services, and lack of resources to rebuild damaged houses and livelihoods. The Camp Coordination and Camp Management Cluster observes that some “returns” are only a “change in location” but not a step towards durable solutions.
During the mid-year review, the number of target beneficiaries has decreased from 447,000 people to 375,000 displaced and returnees/resettled persons. Of those, 24,000 are people who were displaced between January and June 2011 due to armed conflict (including rido) and 351,000 are people who were displaced (and/or recently returned or resettled) by the 2008-2009 armed conflict. In early June, the Government announced that 210,000 people were affected by the flooding in ARMM and regions X and XII; a proportion of this flood-affected population will also be supported in this HAP. The Government has indicated that the humanitarian needs in the island provinces of the ARMM have increased and require assistance. However, a comprehensive assessment of these areas should be undertaken first. Potential needs in the island provinces of the ARMM will be considered within the scope of the 2012 HAP.
To have the capacity to deliver effective coordinated assistance to those in need, the HAP still requires $33 million until the end of this planning cycle. The requirements have been revised downwards by $1 million during the mid-year review. As of mid-July, the HAP had only received $8 million or 24% of its revised requirements and, consequently, humanitarian response objectives have only partially been met. This is a slight decrease of overall requirements because of the many internally displaced people (IDPs) who have been able to return to their homes. However, many of those who have returned do not have access to basic necessities and require humanitarian relief and early recovery programmes.