GENEVA, Aug 19 (KUNA) -- The International organisation of migration (IOM)
announced on Firday, that it was seeking to evacuate the growing number of
migrants in need of help in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.
"The Organization has received several requests to evacuate foreign
nationals in Tripoli who are increasingly vulnerable and now want to leave",
said the IOM Spokeswoman Jemini Pandya in a press briefing.
"Large numbers of Egyptian migrants are still believed to be in Tripoli and
in the western part of Libya, with many other nationalities still present in
the capital. Exact numbers of the total migrant population in the capital area
are unknown", she added.
Thousands of Egyptians have now registered with their Embassy and are ready
for evacuation. As IOM actively prepares a foreign national evacuation
plan taking into account the highly complex logistical, political and security
challenges, the Organization will soon be in need of significant new funds to
carry out this urgent humanitarian operation.
"A rapid response on this is critical to ensuring that in the small window
of opportunity we have to get people out of Tripoli, we are not constrained by
funding issues," according to Pasquale Lupoli, Regional Director for the
Middle East and North Africa, in Cairo.
In addition to the many thousands of stranded migrants IOM has assisted
elsewhere in Libya since the start of the crisis in late February, IOM has
evacuated more than 10,000 migrants by road from Tripoli to the Tunisian
border point at Ras Adjir. That evacuation route had eventually to be
abandoned due to increased fighting between rebel and government forces.
As logistics for this special operation from Tripoli are put into place,
the Organization is continuing to evacuate migrants elsewhere.
Today, another IOM-chartered ship will be leaving the eastern Libyan town
of Benghazi for Misrata on the 15th mission to evacuate migrants, mainly from
northern African. It is the first of two rotations to take place between now
and mid next week.
More than 8,300 migrants and wounded civilians have so far been assisted by
IOM on its Misrata operations with funding from the European Commission's
Humanitarian and Civil Aid department (ECHO), the Australian, British, German,
Irish, Japanese and US governments. The Organization has also delivered
several thousands of humanitarian aid to the port city. (end) ta.ajs
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