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CRISIS IN LIBYA: EUROPEAN COMMISSION ALLOCATES €3 MILLION TO ADDRESS HUMANITARIAN NEEDS

European Commission - IP/11/228   25/02/2011

Other available languages: FR DE BG

IP/11/228

Brussels, 25 February 2011

CRISIS IN LIBYA: EUROPEAN COMMISSION ALLOCATES €3 MILLION TO ADDRESS HUMANITARIAN NEEDS

The European Commission has decided to allocate €3 million to respond to humanitarian needs in Libya and neighbouring countries. This emergency funding will provide medical and food aid, shelter and basic items like mattresses, blankets and hygiene kits to both Libyans and Libyan-based refugees who are crossing into neighbouring countries to flee the violence. European relief aid will also be provided for potential humanitarian needs inside Libya, once the security situation in the country allows a proper assessment.

Kristalina GEORGIEVA, Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid, Crisis Response said: "The situation in Libya evolves by the hour. With this emergency decision, the European Commission is responding to the immediate needs on the ground. We are also prepared to address upcoming humanitarian challenges."

She continued: "So far, Libya's neighbours have been coping very well with the influx of their returning citizens and refugees from Libya. However, it is crucial that we are ready for possible massive displacements within Libya and for the potential influx of tens of thousands of refugees to neighbouring countries in the days and weeks to come. By allocating and pre-positioning our aid through partners, we work on relief of suffering and saving lives".

The European aid, part of the overall EU response to the crisis in Libya, will be implemented by partners with the capacity to provide immediate relief assistance: UN agencies, the ICRC/IFRC (Red Crescent societies) and international NGOs in the field.

The Commission continues to actively monitor the situation through its network of experts deployed to the crisis areas, and keeps in close contact with humanitarian partners and Member States, to assess needs and take further steps.

Background:

Earlier this week, two teams of ECHO experts were deployed on the borders of Libya with Tunisia and Egypt. They are working to analyse the current humanitarian needs.

On February 23, following a request from the EU High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy and the Hungarian Presidency, the European Commission activated the Civil Protection Mechanism, which is currently facilitating the evacuation of EU citizens and other foreigners from Libya.

For more information:

Statement of Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva:

http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/ebs/schedule.cfm

Activation of the Monitoring and Information Centre to support evacuations from Libya:

http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/11/222&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en

Commissioner Georgieva's website:

http://ec.europa.eu/commission_2010-2014/georgieva/index_en.htm

The European Commission's humanitarian aid:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm


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