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UNICEF expresses concern over conflict in areas of Central Mindanao, Philippines

Statement issued by UNICEF Philippines (United Nations Children’s Fund)

20th August 2008

UNICEF is very concerned at the reports of children being involved in the ongoing conflict in areas of Central Mindanao. We implore all parties concerned to avoid injuring, killing or involving civilians in their ongoing operations, and to assist in the safe passage of civilians in the most affected areas, especially women and children.

UNICEF is concerned that children are extremely vulnerable in times of conflict, and their physical and mental development can be permanently damaged. We urge all parties to consider the best interests of children and ensure their safety and wellbeing despite the ongoing conflict.

Vanessa Tobin, UNICEF Representative, Manila, Philippines.

Notes to editors: UNICEF has been present in the Philippines for 60 years, and has a programme presence in Central Mindanao. We are currently assessing the needs of evacuated families and children, and have launched an appeal for $500,000 to cover the immediate needs of families and children, approx 29,000 families, in the affected areas.

For further information or to arrange interviews please contact: Marge Francia, +632 917 858 9447 or Angela Travis  +632 917 8678366



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