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Libya: ICRC team in Tripoli to expand humanitarian response

01-04-2011 News Release 11/78

Geneva (ICRC) – Delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) arrived in Tripoli on 30 March at the invitation of the Libyan authorities.

The aim is to discuss the expansion of the organization's humanitarian activities to the entire country, in particular to areas hardest-hit by the armed conflict.

The ICRC team met with Dr Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmoudi, Libya's prime minister, Dr Mohammed Al-Hijazi, Secretary of Health and Environment, and Dr Bashir Saleh, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's chief of staff. More high-level meetings are to follow in the coming days.

"The first discussions were substantial and encouraging", said Jean-Michel Monod, who is heading the ICRC team in Tripoli. The organization stands ready to assess the situation from a humanitarian viewpoint in some of the worst-affected areas in order to meet the most pressing needs of vulnerable people. Access to people arrested in the initial phase of the unrest and to those captured in connection with the ensuing armed conflict has also been discussed.

The ICRC first sent delegates to Benghazi on 26 February, and now has an office there with some 40 international and national staff. It also has a logistical base and a warehouse in the eastern city of Tobruk and has been working in the city of Ajdabiya, where it has provided about 15,000 people with food and essential household items, and supplied the main hospital with surgical instruments and dressing kits to treat wounded patients. The ICRC has so far visited over 80 Libyan servicemen and other people held by the armed opposition in Benghazi.

 

For further information, please contact:
Marçal Izard, ICRC Geneva, tel. +41 22 730 24 58  or  +41 79 217 32 24