Manila (ICRC) – The deep scars left by the 2017 conflict in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur in southern Philippines, continue to haunt over 100,000 people who still do not have a home to return to.
“Despite the numerous aid efforts that have truly helped those in need over the two years, the people of Marawi have grown tired and frustrated. They want to stand on their own feet again and stop depending on assistance,” said Martin Thalmann, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) delegation in the Philippines.
Whether they’ve been living with relatives or are in evacuation centres and transition sites, the displaced people of Marawi struggle for access to potable water, viable livelihood opportunities and most importantly, permanent shelters.
Thalmann noted that the authorities were trying to address complex issues so that the rehabilitation of the most affected area could begin.
But the conflict has left more vulnerable groups, such as families of missing people and victims of violence, with “invisible” scars.
“The wounds that do not bleed are the wounds that become scars. And these are the most painful because they will always leave something to look at. Something that will always bring back memories of what happened. Nevertheless, it is still important because it is still a lesson,” recalled ‘Mel’ (not his real name), a 34-year-old resident who was severely traumatized by the Marawi crisis.