accessibility & help

Unrest in Arab world means dire situation for thousands of people

2 June 2011

A young boy who fled unrest in Libya sits outside his tent at a refugee camp ©Reuters/ AlertnetAs civil unrest continues in the Arab world, the humanitarian situation is deteriorating and the Red Cross is appealing for funds to help more than a million people affected by the crisis.
Barry Armstrong, British Red Cross disaster response manager, said: “The situation for many people in Libya, Syria and Yemen is dire. Many are struggling to access food, water and healthcare.

“We’ve been supporting the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement’s response since the unrest began to escalate across North Africa and the Middle East at the beginning of the year. This week we’re using £100,000 from our Disaster Fund and £70,000 from our Libya & Region Appeal to support Red Cross relief and emergency health activities in Syria. It is likely that some of the funds will be used to buy ambulances for the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.”

Syria and Yemen

There are unconfirmed reports in the media that protesters are being shot in Syria. Hundreds of people, mostly women and children, are now fleeing the volatile situation and crossing over into Lebanon. The Lebanese Red Cross has set up a first aid post in Wadi Khalid to help the displaced families.

Many people arrive without any belongings. Most have found shelter with relatives or host families, and a small number are residing temporarily in a school in Tall Bire.

In Yemen, the UN reports more than 50 people have died in demonstrations since Sunday. The International Committee of the Red Cross has managed to reach violence-stricken areas in Abyan and has supplied Al Razi Hospital in Khanfar with dressing kits and first-aid supplies. It has also given dressing kits to the Science and Technology Hospital in Sana'a.

Vital aid in Libya

In Libya, fighting between government and opposition forces has left hundreds of people dead and thousands wounded since violence started on 15 February. The Libyan Red Crescent and its partners continue to deliver vital aid to thousands of displaced people in Benghazi, Misrata and around Tripoli, as well as people living in shelters or with relatives in the western mountain areas.

Damage to houses and healthcare facilities, as well as water and power networks, has made living conditions hard for many. Several hundred thousand people have fled, most of them to Tunisia and Egypt, where the Red Cross is also providing support.
Since the crisis started, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has provided basic supplies and services such as food, water and medical care to more than 500,000 people inside Libya and in neighbouring countries. It has also helped around 60,000 people re-establish contact with their family members, visited over 400 detainees, and evacuated some 2,500 stranded foreign nationals and Libyan civilians from Misrata.

In February, the British Red Cross released £150,000 from its Disaster Fund to support the Red Cross operation in the region. In March, it used a further £296,000 to provide sanitation equipment and deploy emergency response units to assist thousands of people fleeing the Libyan conflict. In addition, the organisation used funds raised by its appeal to deploy mass sanitation emergency response units and to support the Red Cross operation in Yemen and Tunisia with delegates and supplies.

Read more about what we are doing in Libya and the region



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