Humanitarian corridors, safe zones for affected Filipinos in Sudan needed – Ople | Global News

Humanitarian corridors, safe zones for affected Filipinos in Sudan needed – Ople

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 09:04 AM May 04, 2023

WASHINGTON D.C., United States — Migrant Workers’ Secretary Susan Ople on Wednesday (Thursday Manila time) raised the need for “humanitarian corridors and safe zones” for affected Filipinos in violence-stricken Sudan.

Ople said that while the Philippine government has facilitated the repatriation of more than half of the Filipino population in Sudan, there are still those who wish to stay in the strife-torn country, hoping that the conflict would dissipate.


“Of course, hindi naman natin mapilit sila (we can’t force them to leave) if that is their decision. But if they would ask our advice, the best time for them to leave is now,” she told reporters in a press briefing here.


“There really needs to be humanitarian corridors and safe zones para ‘yung mga gustong makaalis (so that those who want to leave), puwedeng umalis (they can do so), and then ‘yung mga gusto naman maiwan (those who want to stay) may access pa rin sa pagkain, sa gamot, sa tubig (may still access food, medicine, water), and other basic essentials,” Ople added.

READ: EXPLAINER: What is happening in Sudan? Fighting in Khartoum explained

Humanitarian corridors are agreements between parties to an armed conflict to allow “safe passage” for a limited time in a specific geographic area.

During the safe passage, civilians and injured individuals are permitted to evacuate and humanitarian assistance are allowed to come in.

Safe zones, on the other hand, are areas designated also through an agreement between parties to an armed conflict. Military forces will not be deployed or carry out attacks within the safe zones.


Ople said she hopes the United Nations will step in and establish these humanitarian corridors and safe zones “as soon as possible.”

The Department of Migrant Workers head said that 77 of the 340 Filipinos in Sudan who are set to return to Manila have already landed in Saudi Arabia while 83 are anticipated to arrive in Riyadh on Thursday, May 4.

She added that the Philippine government is working on securing employment opportunities for Filipinos displaced by the conflict in Sudan.

Ople earlier announced that employers from the US and Saudi Arabia have expressed their interest in hiring overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) left jobless by the civil war in the African country.

She also gave assurance to the OFWs that the government will give them livelihood aid of up to P100,000 so they can have a “fresh start in life.”

Ople is in Washington as part of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s delegation to his four-day official visit.

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TAGS: ofws, Philippines, sudan, Susan Ople

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