U.S. Announces Additional Humanitarian Assistance in Response to Violence in Libya

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
March 11, 2011
Refugee Camp at Tunisia-Libya Border

U.S. Government Announces $17 Million in Additional Humanitarian Assistance; Total Now $47 Million

The United States continues to be a leader in supporting the work of international agencies in the region and coordinating with international and multilateral donors and partners.

The new funds include a $10 million contribution toward the United Nations World Food Program's emergency food operations and $2 million to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in response to the United Nations Regional Flash Appeal for the Libyan Crisis, and $5 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The United States is now providing a total of $47 million in emergency assistance for the humanitarian needs of conflict victims, vulnerable migrants, and others displaced by the increasing civil unrest in Libya.

Assistance, Evacuation and Repatriation

Third country nationals who have fled the violence in Libya continue to require evacuation to their home countries. The United States is working with these countries, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other international partners to assist these people to go home.

The United States is now providing:

- $13 million to IOM to support the transportation of thousands people from Africa, South Asia, and Southeast Asia who fled Libya and are now in Tunisia and Egypt.

- $7 million to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which is working in both Tunisia and Egypt, including managing the transit center in Tunisia near the Tunisia-Libya border that is currently providing basic services to thousands of migrants; and

- $7 million for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to assist their efforts in meeting humanitarian needs in the region arising from the unrest and armed confrontations in Libya. This work includes medical and surgical care and other emergency needs such as water and sanitation.

The U.S. government has also provided military flights to repatriate close to 800 Egyptian nationals from Tunisia to Egypt, and to deliver emergency relief commodities to the Tunisian Red Crescent.

Humanitarian Response inside Libya

As part of the $47 million, the United States has set aside up to $10 million to support international and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working to meet humanitarian needs. We are directly funding key NGOs operating inside Libya, building their capacity and strengthening the provision of humanitarian assistance. These funds are ensuring that health facilities in eastern Libya have adequate medical supplies and staff, and are enabling the emergency distribution of blankets, hygiene kits, and water containers in Benghazi.

The United States has delivered two Emergency Health Kits for onward transport to locations inside Libya. Each of these kits, which are packed to UN World Health Organization (WHO) standards, contains basic medications and supplies to treat diseases common in humanitarian crises and will meet the primary healthcare needs of 10,000 people for three months. We have purchased five additional health kits and are prepared to send them forward as needed.

We are also providing funds to the WHO for its emergency health response in Libya, covering medical supplies, basic services, health needs and early warning and response system for epidemic prone diseases.

Food Assistance

The United States has approved a $10 million contribution, more than a quarter of the $39.2 million requested toward the United Nations World Food Program (WFP)'s emergency food operations in response to the United Nations Regional Flash Appeal for the Libyan Crisis.

This U.S. contribution will help WFP respond to immediate food requirements of those who have fled Libya into Tunisia and Egypt, and to pre-position food to assist those who are most vulnerable to a deterioration of humanitarian conditions within Libya, and help alleviate the economic impact of the crisis on the most vulnerable communities in Tunisia It consists of a combination of cash support for WFP, which will enable local procurement to meet the most immediate needs, and in-kind deliveries of food to be made available for distribution within Libya based on emergency needs as they arise.

U.S. Government Disaster Assistance Response Team

The United States has deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to the region. In addition to identifying humanitarian needs on the ground, this team of disaster assistance specialists is helping to coordinate the international efforts to ensure the people suffering from this crisis are provided humanitarian assistance as quickly as possible. U.S. Embassy personnel in Tunis and Cairo are also fully engaged in working to address humanitarian needs.

An International Effort

The United States is committed to working with the United Nations, the European Union and other European partners, the Arab League, the African Union and Libya's neighbors to respond to humanitarian needs. U.S. support for IOM, UNHCR, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and WFP are direct contributions to projects contained in the Regional Flash Appeal for the Libyan Crisis.



Pennsylvania, USA
March 11, 2011

Jerry in Pennsylvania writes:

I know the situation in Libya is complex, but I want to convey an option. It looks like the rebels are losing. Also it looks like certain factions within the rebel opposition may not support democracy. The UN, Arab League, African Union and/or other actors may or may not be looking at the option of negotiating a cease fire. If not, I feel that this should be an option Negotiating a cease fire (could possibly include regime change) may be able to save the rebels from getting defeated in which this would look bad for the actors supporting Gaddafi to leave power.

Willie C.
Ohio, USA
March 11, 2011

Willie C. in Ohio writes:

Well, all of what you’re saying is obviously directed towards those who are currently emotionally distraught of the deaths and injuries portrayed in Libya. However, you in the nation’s capital know that contrasted against what deaths the U.S. lies and deceit leading to the illegal invasion of Iraq caused – An estimated 300,000, the revolution in Libya is nothing. Worse, there was no serious concern whatever when the Israeli IDF attacked Gaza using F-16 aircraft fitted with guided munitions, M-60 Tanks and Helicopter Gun ship’s to slaughter Palestinian’s equipped with nothing more than AK 47’s and home made rockets. What’s being proposed against Libya, Sanctions, confiscation of $30 billion dollars and imposition of a “no fly zone”. None of this has anything whatever to do with humanitarian concerns at all. As the U.S. did in the case of Israeli Rebels in 1948 France, apparently, was selected this time, to recognize the rebels in the eastern portion of the nation as being the legitimate government.

Again, in less than three years you’ve trashed the overwhelming mandate presented to you by the people of this nation. You’ve stepped in and submitted to corporate multinational interest, whose sole objective is nothing less than subverting our nations Constitution. Meanwhile you’ve stood by saying little, meaning you’ve even turned your back on the heavy support labor unions provided you during your campaign. This all means that U.S. corporations are now attempting to return the nation to a pre 1900’s era where workers held no status whatever and could be worked like dogs until they dropped from exhaustion, they could be brutalized at the employers will and employers did not have to recognize any safety rules. You promised unions that you’d walk with them but during the recent Scott Walker Republican Corporate Tea Party attack on Wisconsin’s Unions you did nothing but utter a few meaningless neutral words. If you were not capable of confronting the challenges and threats of the Presidential office it would have been better for all that you’d have not accepted.

New Mexico, USA
March 13, 2011

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Willy C. in Ohio

So like...Dude! it took you this long to take off your far-out on the left-wing liberal rose-colored glasses only to discover that you helped elect a moderate to become president?

Well I'd call that "progressive's progress" a slight return to reality....(chuckle)

Learn something new every day, it will keep you young at heart.

Things may not be all you think they are cracked up to be, but if you're looking for sympathy because you feel betrayed by the one you chose to vote for, step right up and join the line of generations of Americans that came before you.

Just sayin' as some of us were weaned politically on Watergate.

'could be worse you know....,


Wyoming, USA
March 13, 2011

John in Wyoming writes:

The Libyan protesters should have structured their protests to be peaceful in nature. I felt that this would have garnered more political support similar to what happened in Egypt. In support of that, maybe the international community can persuade the protesters to change their strategy to rely on peaceful protests than a civil war strategy. It looks as if Gaddafi does not slaughter his people in a senseless way, he will when this battle both politically and militarily.

Georgia, USA
March 13, 2011

Jessica in Georgia writes:

It seems that the Arab League is now asking for international assistance concerning the Libya situation. To me it seems that they have lost credibility to handle the situation. They should have asked for international assistance on a "no fly zone" a lot sooner than now. Implementing a "no fly zone" now probably will not atop the rebels from losing the war in which the Arab League would have to take a lot of responsibility for. I feel that the rest of the international community should not take responsibility for this situation getting out of hand so far. So far overall, I feel that the Obama administration has done a good job, including the UN, in handling this situation.

Kansas, USA
March 13, 2011

Mike in Kansas writes:

Someone pointed out earlier that NATO needed a UN Mandate to act. This is simply not true.

March 13, 2011

Philip writes:

Better get on the right side of history. If america wants its fortunes to change - GO BIG (in every way) and dont stop for nothing.


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