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Large number of migrants in Tripoli in need of evacuation

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 KUNA 191342 Aug 11NNNN