Refugees and Displaced
According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre:
Fighting and displacement in the Philippines have increased in the past two years. From less than 100,000 in 2006, the number of people displaced by conflict reached 170,000 in 2007 and has exceeded 290,000 during 2008. Most are in the southern region of Mindanao, where the government has been fighting secessionist Moro (Muslim) rebels groups for the past 30 years. Although hopes of an imminent formal peace agreement were raised in July 2008 as the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) reached a consensus on the issue of Moro territory, strong opposition to the deal by Christian groups and growing Moro frustration led to intense fighting in early August in North Cotabato Province, resulting in the displacement of more than 160,000 people. Further violence, affecting mainly Lanao del Norte, forced an additional 60,000 people to leave their homes in Mindanao in mid-August.