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Humanitarian Response by the Swiss Government in support of people affected by the Libyan crisis - Situation on March 24, 2011

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Humanitarian crisis in Libya and in the neighboring region.

Following the ongoing political crisis and armed clashes in Libya, the humanitarian situation in the country as well as in the neighboring countries is precarious since mid-February. The violence and clashes have left many dead and wounded. Tens of thousands of persons are on their way out of the country. Western Libya remains inaccessible and information concerning this region is unclear if not contradictory. Currently mostly foreigners seek to reach safety in the neighboring countries Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Niger, where they attempt to return to their country of origin. There are estimates of one million immigrant workers mostly from the Maghreb, from sub-Saharan Africa and from Asia (e.g. Bangladesh, Philippines, and China). At border check points with Tunisia and Egypt where most of these people arrive in a state of exhaustion, Humanitarian Aid is coordinated. But the registration and repatriation of immigrant worker families remains challenging.

Humanitarian access in Libya and the protection of the Libyan civilian population are the major claims made to the conflicting parties. Accordingly the UN has addressed an appeal to the Libyan Regime to grant free and unconditional access for humanitarian actors.