IRC on standby to help people fleeing Libya violence
The International Rescue Committee has aid teams ready to assist people fleeing violence in Libya should a refugee crisis evolve.
“We’re watching the situation in Libya and surrounding areas very closely,” says Gillian Dunn, the head of IRC emergency response operations. “The IRC’s emergency team and IRC aid workers already in the region are poised to assist if we see large population movements or significant humanitarian need.”
The International Organization for Migration estimated today that 40,000 people, mostly foreign nationals who had been working in Libya, had crossed into Tunisia, Egypt, Niger and other countries to escape worsening violence. The numbers are expected to grow as more people are able to flee cities and reach borders.
Protests against the rule of Moammar Gaddafi started a week ago in Libya’s second largest city, Benghazi and clashes and bloodshed have spread and intensified since then.
The recent wave of anti-government protests and violence in the region has also hit Iraq and Jordan, where the IRC assists uprooted Iraqis, as well as in Sudan, where the IRC runs extensive humanitarian aid and recovery programs, and Yemen, where the IRC recently conducted a needs assessment.