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Humanitarian Response by the Swiss Government in support of people affected by the Libyan crisis - Situation on March 3, 2011

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Humanitarian crisis in Libya and in the neighboring region.

Following the political crisis and armed clashes in Libya, the humanitarian situation is precarious since mid-February in the country as well as in the neighboring countries. The violence and clashes haves left many dead and wounded.
Tens of thousands persons are on their way out of the country. The situation has relaxed somewhat in eastern Libya and humanitarian actors such as ICRC and MSF have been able to reach Benghazi, but information concerning the western Libya is unclear if not contradictory. Currently mostly foreigners seek to reach safety in neighboring countries, where they attempt to return to their country of origin. There are estimates of about two million Egyptian and Tunisian immigrant workers, thousands of nationals from the Maghreb and of a large number of people from sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, before the crisis broke out, tens of thousands of immigrant workers from Asia were in the country (eg. Bangladesh, Philippines, China). At border check points with Tunisia and Egypt, where most of these people arrive in a state of exhaustion, population and local authorities are under pressure. Humanitarian access in Tripoli (and west of Libya), and the transport of relief supplies in this part of the country, remains impossible for now.