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UN calls for urgent funds to help Philippines areas hit by insurgency and floods

By Shirley Escalante in Manila, Thursday October 10, 2013 - 17:44 EDT

The United Nations has appealed to the international community to contribute aid funding for two areas in the southern Philippines recently affected by fighting and floods.

The UN estimates $US24 million will be needed for relief operations in Zamboanga city and Basilan province over the next six months.

Fighting between security forces and Muslim rebels, as well as floods caused by monsoon rains, have displaced 125,000 people.

The UN has released $3 million in emergency funding for Zamboanga and Basilan.

UN Resident Coordinator Luiza Carvalho has noted worsening conditions in evacuation centers which lack sanitation facilities, and says cases of abuse against women and children have been reported.

Australia, the United States and the European Union have already provided some financial aid to Zamboanga.

Meanwhile, the United States has warned its citizens Thursday of a "series of credible security threats" in the restive southern region.

The warning comes on the eve of a planned visit to Manila by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

The embassy warning named Davao, Mindanao's largest city, and four Mindanao provinces, including areas not known as insurgent areas.


© ABC 2013

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