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Red Cross launches website to help reunite Marawi families

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have launched a website that would help residents of Marawi City find missing family members.

Marawi residents in search of relatives who have gone missing following the armed conflict in the city may access the online page – https://familylinks.icrc.org/Philippines.

“The website supplements existing tracing services, such as the 12 PRC welfare desks in evacuation centers in Marawi and Iligan cities,” the ICRC said in a news release as it commemorated the International Day of the Disappeared on Wednesday.

There are many possible causes of separation during a conflict situation, said Camilla Matteucci, head of the ICRC team working with the PRC.

“People could be trapped by the fighting, detained or even killed. They could be in an evacuation center but not have the means to contact their kin,” Matteucci said.

“At the end of the day, it is important to remember that families have a right to know what has happened to their loved ones, and wherever possible, be reunited with them. Our tracing website offers a platform for people to share information about their missing relatives and request our help in tracing them.”

She noted that since the beginning of the Marawi conflict in late May, the Red Cross has received 402 tracing requests, 179 of which are still being checked.

Matteucci assured that all the information shared by families with the Red Cross will remain confidential.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has been working to reunite families in times of conflict or disaster.

In Marawi, the ICRC and the PRC have extended technical and material support to help authorities manage dead bodies. The PRC has also provided psychosocial support to more than 10,400 people, including children, affected by the conflict. (icrc)

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