UNDP and the Christians for Peace Movement (CfPM) provide support for the safe return and early recovery of displaced IPs in South Upi

January 26, 2022

Photo from Christians for Peace Movement (CfPM)

Last December, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in the Philippines and the Christians for Peace Movement (CfPM) provided agricultural equipment, farm tools, as well vegetable and corn seeds, to support the safe return and early recovery of 236 displaced indigenous peoples (IP) families from Sitio Manguda of Barangay Itaw in South Upi, Maguindanao.

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the already dire situation of IP communities living under the constant threat of recurring conflict in their areas due to conflicting land claims with armed groups claiming ownership over parts of the IP’s ancestral domain. The Upi Complex, early in 2021, has been battered by reports of a series of killings of members of Teduray, Lambangian, and Manobo (IPs), amidst the continuing pandemic. 

The support provided by the UNDP and CfPM was based on a series of consultations with the displaced IP community/families themselves while they were still residing at evacuation centers following their displacement. The process undertaken with the IP community also served as an opportunity for the IPs to enhance dialogue, negotiation and decision making processes that would hopefully enable them to develop deeper trust and confidence among IP groups.  

This activity is supported under the Japan-funded UNDP project entitled “Enhancing Human Security in the Philippines by Addressing the Socioeconomic Impact of COVID-19”, in which UNDP aimed to provide direct assistance to vulnerable groups and communities towards strengthening human security especially in the BARMM, through partnership and collaboration with various local stakeholders including civil society organizations, local government units, religious groups, including women and youth organizations, among others. 

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