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NEARLY 100,000 villagers remain in shelters after clashes between government troops and rebels on the Philippines’ island of Mindanao.
Fighting inZamboanga City has left 104 dead and 213 injured, with reports of 21 civilians still being held hostage by rebels.
Aid agency Plan International has supplied hygiene and water kits to 1,000 families.
“More relief goods are needed as there are still no clear indications when then conflict will end,” says Plan’s country director in the Philippines Carin van der Hor.
“School supplies will also be needed as preparations begin for the resumption of classes.”
Trouble flared after 200 members of the renegade separatist Moro National Liberation Front stormed Zamboanga City demanding to hoist their flag.
More than 10,000 homes were torched during the fighting, prompting families to flee.
An estimated 40-50 rebels remain in the city, according to reports, preventing families from returning.
Cramped evacuation centres are short of water, food, mats, blankets and medicine, among other essential items.
Officials have also expressed concern over child protection and health in the camps.
Plan has worked in the Philippines for more than 50 years with extensive experience in responding to natural disasters and other crises.
During emergencies, the charity deploys teams of experts to help deliver clean water, food, medical supplies, educational resources and psychosocial support.
“We’re concerned about the thousands of families affected by armed conflict and will be monitoring the situation closely,” says Ms van der Hor.
“Plan is recognised for its expertise in protecting emergency-affected children from abuse, exploitation, neglect, and violence."
For more information on Plan’s work or to make a donation call 0800 526 848 or visit www.plan-uk.org