The European Commission has announced it will release €2m in emergency assistance to Libya, to support communities affected by ongoing conflict in the region.
The EU has allocated more than €46m in humanitarian aid to Libya since 2014, as well as providing protection and support to vulnerable communities, food supplies and emergency education facilities, both directly and through the bloc’s partners. The latest tranche of funding will be primarily directed to supporting the immediate healthcare needs of Libyans affected by the country’s humanitarian crisis, including:
- Providing access to emergency war surgery;
- Physical rehabilitation services;
- Distributing essential medicinal supplies, including medications and prostheses; and
- Providing psychosocial support to Libyan residents affected by conflict in the region.
The funding, which will also support emergency education for children, will be overseen and distributed by international NGOs and the International Committee of the Red Cross. Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said: “The EU is committed to supporting the most vulnerable in Libya who have now suffered years of conflict. This additional funding will help our humanitarian partners to continue to deliver aid in hard-to-reach areas. It is crucial that parties to the conflict respect international humanitarian law and allow humanitarian workers full access to help those in need and save lives.”
European maritime humanitarian organisation SOS Mediterranee announced this week that it had rescued 104 Libyan refugees from a rubber boat in distress. The refugees, including 40 minors and two pregnant women, told the search and rescue team of widespread violence and abuse in the region, with one refugee telling rescuers: “It is easier to die at sea than to live in Libya.” The rescue vessel, Ocean Viking, has requested a Place of Safety from Italian and Maltese authorities.
Louise Guillaumat, SOS Mediterranee’s Deputy Director of Operations, said: “We hope a solution for a swift disembarkation of the 104 survivors will be found by maritime authorities with the support of EU member states, in accordance with the law.”