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Food crisis erupts in Marawi

A “food crisis” has erupted in the conflict-torn Marawi City, prompting the government to step up humanitarian assistance to the affected residents.

Chief government negotiator Irene Santiago said another “peace corridor” has been opened to send more food and other relief aid amid reports of soaring food prices in the area.

“There is a rising food crisis. One sack of rice is now P5,000,” Santiago said during the “Mindanao Hour” briefing in Davao City.

“So it is important that we secure the passageway around the lake so that we can bring food assistance in and we can bring food prices down,” said Santiago, who is spearheading the peace corridor campaign.

The peace corridor is a joint project of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front peace panels to hasten the rescue and humanitarian operations for civilians affected by the conflict. More than 100 trapped civilians were rescued during the four-hour humanitarian ceasefire last Sunday.

Santiago said the second peace corridor spanning Malabang, Lanao del Sur to Marawi City has facilitated the safe flow of humanitarian aid to civilians displaced by the conflict.

“Several organizations and groups have been able to send food, medicines, and other humanitarian aid,” she said.

Among these groups are Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, International Committee of the Red Cross, as well as the Bangsamoro Development Agency, (Genalyn D. Kabiling)