By Elena L. Aben
Senator Juan Edgardo Angara has pressed for the mandatory distribution of “dignity kits” for women in evacuation centers, citing that many displaced Marawi City residents are women and children.
Each “dignity kit” must contain 22 personal care items, including bath soap, laundry soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, underwear, sanitary napkins, shampoo, face towel, bath towel, slippers, tissue roll, cotton balls.
The senator issued the call after a United Nations agency pegged at 18,000 the number of women gravely affected by the ongoing armed skirmishes in the capital of Lanao del Sur.
A count by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) puts at 11,500 the number of pregnant women on top of “over 7,000” mothers who have recently given birth.”
This, the senator said, should prompt the government to customize assistance for the most vulnerable evacuees.
“Even during normal times, nursing mothers, babies, pregnant women must have the best of care. In wartime, their plight is exacerbated when they’re uprooted from their homes. The worse the situation is, the more responsive the government’s help must become,” Angara stressed.
Disaster aid, he further said, must adopt a “women and children first policy” and this is best manifested through the distribution of women and baby kits.