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IP/11/460

Brussels, 13 April 2011

More European humanitarian aid for people affected by the Libyan crisis

A new aid decision of €10 million was adopted today by the European Commission, which will direct this additional allocation at intensifying the evacuation of foreigners from Libya – in particular Misrata – and the repatriation to their home country. Since the beginning of the conflict the European Union has been leading international humanitarian efforts both inside Libya and at the borders which have faced a massive outflow of migrant workers and Libyan refugees.

Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, said: "Every passing day sees foreigners fleeing the continuous fighting in Libya and stranded at the borders of neighbouring countries. The best humanitarian service we can provide is to bring them quickly and safely back home".

She added: "With this new funding allocation, the European Commission remains at the frontline of humanitarian aid delivery. And thanks also to the generous contributions of our EU Member States, we have collectively prevented a major humanitarian disaster. We must and will continue to work relentlessly with our humanitarian partner organisations to ensure that all affected people whether outside or inside Libya receive assistance. Our efforts concentrate notably on the situation in the town of Misrata where several of our partners have been able to deliver aid in the past days. Europe will do its utmost to maintain humanitarian efforts and address urgent needs for the sake of civilian populations. "

This new allocation of fund will be implemented through one of the European Commission's partners in resolving this crisis – the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), which coordinates the repatriation operation of fleeing migrants. This heavy operation also relies on the continuous provision of additional aerial transportation by EU Member States. These in-kind contributions are facilitated and coordinated via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.

BACKGROUND

From the outset of this crisis, the European Commission has been on the forefront of response, through its main emergency tools: humanitarian funding and the Civil Protection Mechanism. Expert teams in both civil protection and humanitarian needs have been mobilised by the Commission and dispatched to Libya, Tunisia and Egypt.

To this day, 5,800 Europeans were evacuated from the country and about 20,000 third country nationals have been repatriated by countries participating in the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. They offered transport resources such as airplanes and vessels, as well as in-kind assistance for the migrants arriving at the Tunisian border.

On 11 March, € 30 million was allocated by the European Commission for humanitarian aid in the context of the Libyan crisis. The funding was directed at first aid to the fleeing migrants and setting up transit camps in Tunisia and Egypt, with adequate shelter, sanitation and medical care. The European financial aid has also covered the screening and protection of refugees, and the transportation to their home countries. Thanks to EU assistance, relief items (notably food, medicine, medical equipment) have been prepositioned and delivered to address humanitarian needs inside Libya, where this aid is dispatched wherever unhindered and safe access is possible.

Today's decision brings the Commission's humanitarian aid in the Libyan crisis to €40 million. The overall size of aid from the European Commission and EU member states will now reach €96 million.

More info:

IP/11/254

MEMO/11/138

MEMO/11/143

Website of DG ECHO http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en.htm


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