Protect civilians

News and Press Release
Originally published
View original

DanChurchAid and its partners in ACT Alliance urge all parties to stop the violence in North Africa as soon as possible, in order to allow the humanitarian organisations unimpeded access to help the civilian population.

”The most important thing is to protect the safety of civilians”, says Secretary-General Henrik Stubkjær.

Together with the ACT Alliance partners, he stresses the importance of allowing the humanitarian organisations access to helping the civilian population in Libya as soon as possible:

”We are deeply concerned that the humanitarian situation in Libya and the border areas towards Tunisia and Egypt may deteriorate. Thus, we urge the Libyan authorities and other parts in the conflict to allow and ensure access for the humanitarian organisations”, says Henrik Stubkjær.

Hundreds of thousands of people in North Africa are affected by the current conflict in Libya. DanChurchAid and the members of the ACT Alliance are working with local partners in the region in an attempt to help those who have fled the unrest so that they can cope – also in the long run.

Clear boundaries

At the same time, it is crucial for the humanitarian aid work that the roles of various actors remain clearly distinct. ACT Alliance fears that a blurring of military and humanitarian operations could be dangerous for the actors involved, and, ultimately, for the civilian population.

”NATO's intervention may confuse the civilian population's perception of who is who, and thereby harm their trust in the humanitarian organisations. This could seriously restrict our access to the affected populations”, emphasises Henrik Stubkjær.

DanChurchAid calls on UNOCHA (UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) for coordination of the work in the region. The EU has committed to military support for the humanitarian operations, but ACT Alliance does not consider this to be necessary at present.