Brussels, 29 August 2011 – The European Commission has deployed to Tripoli a multi-sectoral team of humanitarian experts and has opened a humanitarian office in the Libyan capital. The experts from the Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department are ensuring that the assistance given by the European Union in health, medicines, food and drinking water is delivered expeditiously, and that new needs are identified and addressed immediately. The experts are working closely with the humanitarian partners present in the city.
Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, said: "My major concern now is for the civilians in Tripoli. Our field experts are assessing the humanitarian situation and the fast-evolving needs in Libya's most populated city. In their initial findings the experts point out the shortage of emergency healthcare provision and the disruptions of drinking water supply. We are working with our humanitarian partners who are doing a tremendous job in a very difficult context. We have allocated €10 million to support their emergency humanitarian operations. We are fully committed to ensure that the basic and most urgent needs of the population are met as swiftly as possible.
"Safeguarding the safety of civilians is of utmost importance and a point of major concern in this volatile moment. I implore all sides to abstain from reprisals and to fully respect International Humanitarian Law," the Commissioner underlined.
The European Commission is continuing to work with its partners in Tripoli, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Organisation for Migration, International Medical Corps and UNICEF.
The humanitarian funding which the Commission had set aside for Tripoli is being channelled to the needy population through those partners present in the field. Of the €10 million allocation for Tripoli and the neighbourhood, €4 million has just been earmarked to support the activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Libyan capital and other cities where the conflict continues to rage. The funding will provide medical care, protection, water and sanitation and the distribution of non-food items.
The Commission's humanitarian experts in Tripoli and in Brussels are monitoring closely the water situation. Funding and material support could be made available to cover water needs of the most vulnerable Libyans if the water supply is not restored soon. A boost of the funding for the protection of third country nationals, particularly sub-Saharan Africans, in the recently accessible towns and cities, is under discussion with humanitarian partners on the ground.
The European Union has repeatedly reiterated its commitment to deliver humanitarian relief to all people in need inside Libya in an impartial and non-discriminatory manner. Humanitarian assistance will also be an important topic at the Libya Conference in Paris on 1 September, where the EU will be represented by President Jose Manuel Barroso, President Herman Van Rompuy and High Representative / Vice-President Catherine Ashton.
BACKGROUND The Commission's humanitarian response to date Funding: €70 million (€ 60 million for Humanitarian aid for the Libya crisis and € 10 million for the reintegration of Chadian migrants returning to Chad) Commission-funded humanitarian assistance covered:
Assistance to the people fleeing Libya
Support to the repatriation of third-country nationals to their country of origin
Assistance to refugees who cannot go back to their home country & Libyans fleeing Libya
Financing and prepositioning of emergency stocks to provide relief aid in Libya
The Commission's principal partners in this crisis include:
* International Organisation for Migration (IOM)
* United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)
* UN Organisation for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid (OCHA)
* UN World Food Programme
* The Red Cross/Red Crescent family
* Télécoms sans Frontières
* Fédération Suisse De Déminage
* Danish Church Aid
* International Medical Corps
EU Civil Protection Response
Two distinct operations were carried out through the Civil Protection Mechanism in relation to the Libyan crisis.
In the first few days (starting with 23 February), the Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre, which manages the Civil Protection Mechanism, supported Member States´ consular evacuation operations in Libya, at the request of the Presidency and in agreement with the High Representative. The MIC's role focused on identifying, facilitating and (in some cases) co-financing additional transport capacity, in support of the MS' consular authorities. An estimated 5,800 Europeans were evacuated from the country in an unprecedented EU coordinated effort - the Commission, the EEAS (SitCen/EU Military Staff) and the Hungarian Presidency at that time.
During March-May 2011, at the request of IOM, the Monitoring and Information Centre also been facilitated the coordination of MS' efforts for repatriation of more than 31,700 third country nationals from the countries neighbouring Libya (i.e. Tunisia, Egypt).
11 Participating States to the Civil Protection Mechanism provided (aerial and sea) transport capacity through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism for the repatriation of third-country nationals from Tunisia: BE, BG, DE, EL, ES, FR, HU, IT, MT, SE, and UK. In-kind assistance was offered by 9 Participating States (AT, DE, ES, FI, FR, IT, NO, SE, IE).
The amount of co-financing requested by 8 Participating States for transport operations was €10.574.084.
For more information Commissioner Georgieva's website:
The European Commission's humanitarian aid: