Marawi City is situated in the ARMM region in Central Mindanao and the heart of Lanao del Sur Province with a population of 210,000 with almost 100% predominantly Muslims. Marawi City is also home to the largest university in the South, Mindanao State University (MSU), hence some Christian settlers are living in the city for employment and study purposes.
In the afternoon of May 23, 2017 (approximately 2:00pm), a group of heavy-armed men, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), sieged some establishments with the presence of other local culprits escalating to the city and breakaway prisoners freed by the group in the Lanao del Sur Provincial Jail.
This group is fighting in the name of Islam yet attacking the Islamic City causing heavy damage to the safety, security, normal daily routine of the residents of the city. This further created negative image towards Islam especially from the Non-Muslim in the country as proven in various reactions both in electronic, print and social media.
However, this comes with new challenges met along the way. There is a scarcity of foods supply, basic commodities and personal necessity such as clothes. The evacuees fled on a sudden notice, thus, most of the IDPs had nothing but a piece of cloth in their bodies. A big number of the residents had to walk bare-foot for more than 30 kilometres to seek refuge in the nearby areas.
The information gathered by the volunteers which covers four evacuation centres, shows immediate needs of hygienic materials, cooking utensils, sleeping gears, prayer mats and garments, and especially food assistance for Iftar and Suhor. Children and elderlies are suffering a lot from the situation at the evacuation centres due to lack of basic necessities.