Operations in Salloum, on the Egyptian/Libyan border

29-09-2011 Field Newsletter

The ICRC has been helping people stranded at Salloum since March 2011. The organization provides breakfast and makes phones available so that people can keep in touch with their families. The ICRC also issues travel documents for people who have been granted asylum by a third country but do not have proper identity documents. In addition, the ICRC helps reunite separated families, in coordination with United Nations agencies and NGOs, and shares information on missing persons with ICRC teams in Libya and elsewhere.

Some of those fleeing the fighting in Libya have become stranded on the border between Libya and Egypt. At Salloum – the main crossing point between Libya and Egypt – the ICRC is helping these people by providing breakfasts, telephone facilities and travel documents.

The ICRC has been operating at Salloum Land Port since March 2011.

By the end of June 2011, the ICRC had carried out the following activities:

Assistance/cooperation with the Egyptian Red Crescent (ERC)

  • Provided over 80,700 breakfasts to people stranded at Salloum, for distribution by the ERC.
  • Distributed 38,000 bottles of water prior to the installation of UNICEF water tanks.

Facilitation of contacts with embassies. Provision of travel documents.

  • Forwarded photos and personal data to embassies so that they could issue travel documents (in coordination with the IOM), benefiting 3,227 people.

Family links / tracing of missing family members

  • Provided phone services, in cooperation with the ERC:
    - 6,064 calls to re-establish family links
    - 4,814 calls to maintain family links
  • Registered unaccompanied minors and searched for their families.
  • Shared information on missing persons with ICRC teams in Libya and elsewhere.

Support to ICRC action in Libya

  • Ensured smooth passage of relief goods across the border.


Main services provided in Salloum

Restoring family links and protecting civilians

  • In cooperation with the Egyptian Red Crescent, the ICRC provides phone facilities for all those who need to re-establish or maintain family links, having lost contact due to the conflict in Libya.
  • The ICRC traces family members with whom contact has been lost due to the conflict in Libya. Information on missing family members obtained in private interviews with enquirers is shared with ICRC offices in the countries where conflict is occurring or in other affected countries.
  • The ICRC issues travel documents (at the request of embassies) to people who have been accepted by a third country for asylum and do not have proper identity documents.
  • The ICRC assists in family reunifications, working in coordination with United Nations Agencies and NGOs.
  • The ICRC facilitates the issue of laisser-passers, at the request of people who wish to return to their countries of origin but are no longer in possession of valid travel documents; the ICRC takes their pictures and personal data and forwards them to the embassies concerned, in order to accelerate the repatriation process.
  • The ICRC monitors the cases of vulnerable categories, such as unaccompanied minors, female-headed households, etc.
  • The ICRC organizes the exchange of Red Cross messages between people currently stranded in Salloum and their relatives in war zones (refugees, displaced persons, detainees and others) when other means of communication are not available.

NB: The ICRC is not involved in the search for resettlement countries.


  • The ICRC provides breakfast for all civilians stranded at the border. These breakfasts are distributed by the Egyptian Red Crescent.


The ICRC's mission in Egypt

The ICRC's Cairo delegation functions primarily as a regional centre to promote the national implementation of international humanitarian law and its incorporation into military training and academic curricula, both in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world. The Cairo-based regional legal advisory, communication and documentation centre, working in close cooperation with the League of Arab States, plays an important role in this process. The ICRC supports the work of the Egyptian Red Crescent.

The Cairo delegation also supports the restoration of links between refugees/asylum seekers in Egypt and their families and between Egyptians and their relatives in war zones.

For more information, please contact the ICRC as follows:


ICRC delegates at the telephone point

Cairo delegation

33 Road 106, 11431 Hadayek Maadi – Cairo.
Telephone: +20 2 252 815 40 – +20 2 252 815 41