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With the mounting political violence in Libya that has driven more than 250,000 people to flee over the Egyptian and Tunisian borders, AmeriCares has responded to calls for humanitarian assistance with an emergency airlift of medical aid that arrived in Cairo last week. Two more additional shipments are in preparation.
The ongoing armed conflict between anti-government protesters and Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces that spread throughout the country has increased the flow of evacuees.
The UN Refugee Agency reports that among the Egyptians, Tunisians and other nationals attempting to return to their homelands, thousands of people, including families with young children, are moving into two transit camps that have sprung up along the Libyan border.
With tribal leaders and health care providers in the border areas requesting humanitarian assistance, AmeriCares has rushed an emergency shipment containing antibiotics, pain relievers, basic chronic care medicines and other medical supplies, enough to treat an estimated 15,000 patients. The two additional AmeriCares shipments containing more medical aid will leave from its warehouses in Amsterdam and the U.S. later this week.
Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis, www.AlertNet.org
An Egyptian refugee rests at a transit camp after crossing into Tunisia fleeing violence in Libya near the border crossing of Ras Jdir.
The Egyptian government and military have established a field hospital at the border and are helping Egyptian nationals return to their communities. An estimated 7,000 third-country nationals, with many more expected in the coming days, have arrived and are seeking assistance for repatriation to their home countries.
“AmeriCares medical assistance will be used primarily for these third-country nationals who are stranded on the Egyptian border while arrangements are made for them to return to their home countries,” said Christoph Gorder, senior vice president of global program operations for AmeriCares. “We are monitoring the situation in Libya daily with our partners, and based on their assessments in the two camps and in the Libyan city of Benghazi, we are prepared to continue support for their efforts.”
For more than 25 years AmeriCares has provided medical relief and humanitarian assistance to millions affected by natural disasters and man-made crises. Disaster relief and emergency medical supplies are strategically stocked and positioned to help people in crisis, wherever and whenever they need it.