By Julmunir I. Jannaral
DILIMAN, Quezon City
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) had made an extensive discussion on their activities with the Muslim Filipinos in Mindanao being conducted during this ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The ICRC delegation was headed by ICRC’s Advisor for Humanitarian Affairs Aminul Islam and ICRC political Advisor Rolando Modina, where they made a courtesy visit to National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Commissioner Yusoph J. Mando.
In the said meeting, they discussed the possibility of holding a high level collaboration of these two agencies, where Commissioner Mando explained to them the mandate of the NCMF as a government agency.
Commissioner Mando said it is within the mandate of the NCMF that it is to preserve and develop the culture, tradition, institutions, and well-being of Muslim Filipinos, giving the Commission a crucial role in responding to the humanitarian needs of conflict-affected populations.
During this pandemic, it contributed significantly to raising awareness among the Muslim Filipino communities on health protocols to help mitigate the spread of the disease.
He added that the NCMF also provided relief assistance to those badly affected by the pandemic, and continues to do so through its Regional and Field Offices nationwide.
On the other hand, the ICRC explained their potential role in the humanitarian campaign in support of the Philippine Red Cross. This includes the ICRC engagement within Muslim Filipino communities in Mindanao and in the Philippines as a whole.
The International Committee of the Red Cross was founded In Geneva, Switzerland for Humanitarian Help for People Affected by Armed Conflict.
Since 1863, their mission has been to protect and assist victims of armed conflict, and promote understanding and respect for International Humanitarian Law (IHL).
Commissioner Mando was appreciative of the possibility of the ICRC’s high-level collaboration with the NCMF.
He also gave his assurance for future collaborations with the ICRC and YES FOR PEACE Bayanihan ng Bayan, including capability building programs, visits to jail and prisons, seminar workshops on IHL, and other activities centered around social action, justice and peace, and interreligious dialogue.
Moreover, they have also discussed possible mobilization of resources to provide humanitarian assistance to low-income families most affected by the pandemic. (JIJ)