Belgium supports FAO in livelihood recovery response in Philippine’s conflict-affected Mindanao

Belgium supports FAO in livelihood recovery response in Philippine’s conflict-affected Mindanao

06/05/2018

Displaced farming families are gradually returning to their homes after the five-month-long armed clashes in the Philippine’s Islamic city of Marawi. The fighting between government forces and the Maute group ‒ a radical Islamist armed group ‒ that started in May 2017 has forced at least 360 000 people from the city and neighbouring municipalities to abandon their homes and livelihoods.

Agriculture-dependent communities face significant challenges in restoring their livelihoods. The majority of farmers are already heavily indebted after borrowing money to plant crops that they were never able to harvest. Many have also lost their animals, such as carabaos, as well as other livestock, and farming tools.

“Urgent support is needed to resume agricultural livelihoods in order to restore the production and availability of safe and nutritious food for communities, functioning markets and economic activities,” explained Mr José Luis Fernández, FAO Representative in the Philippines.

Based on preliminary estimates of the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (29 September 2017), about 248 830 people (49 766 farming families) were affected by the conflict in the provinces of Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao.

Thanks to a Belgian contribution of USD 500 000, through the Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities, FAO is working closely with the Government to provide agricultural inputs, such as rice, maize and assorted vegetable seeds, fertilizer, tools and broiler chicken production packages, to support over 23 250 people in 18 severely affected municipalities.

FAO’s emergency and recovery response focuses on restoring the food supply chain among affected communities, and on helping farmers recover their livelihoods in order for them to rebuild their lives and increase food security, while reducing dependency on food aid.