Around 100 social workers both from public and private sectors gathered today until tomorrow at the Marcian Hotel to participate in the training on camp coordination and camp management organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), according to Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office IX Director Zenaida Arevalo.

The IOM is a long-time partner of the DSWD on disaster response especially along management of evacuation centers and provision of temporary shelter.

According to Mark Maulit, representative of Migration Crisis Operations Unit of IOM, this training aims to deepen the participants’ understanding of the concepts, principles of good camp coordination and management drawing from their direct experiences in managing evacuation sites.

Majority of the participants are currently managing the evacuation centers providing temporary shelter to the families affected by the armed conflict between government troops and the Moro National Liberation Front-Nur Misuari faction.

Maulit said that his group has gone around the evacuation centers in the city and has observed how these temporary shelters are being managed.  He said that the unfamiliarity of camp managers’ on their roles and responsibilities may lead to camp mismanagement.

“ Camp managers play a critical role because the evacuees largely depend on them for their daily survival at the evacuation centers. Thus, if they do not manage the evacuation centers well, the sufferings of the evacuees may increase, and may delay their recovery,” Maulit said.

During the training,  good practices from different countries that experienced huge disasters will be shared for possible replication if appropriate.  Likewise, social workers who are presently managing the evacuation centers in Zamboanga City will also share their experiences.

After the training, the participants are expected to develop plans that would improve the services at the evacuation centers under their care.

Based on the October 18, 10:00 AM report of the DSWD, 8,318 families or 39,451 persons are still staying in evacuation centers. ### 18 October 2013 (DSWD-Social Marketing Service)