Thousands Still Homeless Two Years After Marawi Siege

05/21/2019 Philippines (International Christian Concern) – Two years have passed since the Maute terrorists laid siege on Marawi city in southern Philippines for five months, killing around 1,100 people in the conflict, mostly militant gunmen, and displacing nearly 360,000 people.

The road to recovery remains stagnant, with an estimated 4,500 people are still at four evacuation centers, and about 66,000 people still homeless.

Sapia Taulani, an OCHA humanitarian affairs analyst, has called on the government and other humanitarian aid agencies to continue supporting the people of Marawi.

“The internally displaced people still need support like water and livelihoods while transitioning [to normal lives]” she told Catholic news agency UCA News.

The city saw a drop in food assistance since last year, both from the state and aid organizations, as the government shifted from emergency relief operations to the early recovery and rehabilitation phase.

In May 2017, ISIS-linked terrorist militants attacked Marawi and held the majority Muslim city against government forces for five months. Catholic priest and churchgoers were abducted, their cathedral desecrated and destroyed. The city was finally liberated by the Philippine army in October of the same year. Yet the Catholic-majority Philippines continues to face threats from local terrorist groups. Last January, two suicide bombs at a Roman Catholic cathedral in southern Philippines killed 20 people and injured dozens more.

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