Posted by: africanpressorganization | 18 November 2011

Libya: aid for 10,000 people returning to Sirte



Libya: aid for 10,000 people returning to Sirte


GENEVA, Switzerland, November 18, 2011/African Press Organization (APO)/ — An estimated 25 per cent of Sirte’s inhabitants are now back in their homes. Others who had been displaced by the fierce fighting that ended last month are coming to the city to check on the state of their houses and belongings. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Libyan Red Crescent have delivered food and other relief items to over 10,000 people returning to the centre of the devastated city.


“The process of return is slow. There is still a lack of clean water, electricity is limited and infrastructure has been badly damaged,” said Charlotte Bennborn, an ICRC delegate who participated in the distribution. “A major return of displaced people has yet to take place, but those arriving now need help to get going with their lives again.”


On 17 November, the ICRC, together with Sirte-based Libyan Red Crescent volunteers, finished the urgent aid delivery in the city centre, which was the part of the city most extensively damaged. One-month food rations consisting of rice, beans, pasta, tomato paste, salt, sugar and tea were distributed. “Baby food is available for families with infants,” said Ms Bennborn. “And people returning to severely damaged houses receive blankets, hygiene parcels, jerrycans and plastic sheeting.”


There are also lots of dangerous unexploded devices in Sirte. The ICRC has started to clear unexploded ordnance in the city and in Bani Walid, focusing on the areas that pose the greatest threat to returning civilians. Together with the Libyan Red Crescent, it is beefing up its efforts to raise awareness of these dangers among the population.


The ICRC and the Libyan Red Crescent will be distributing more relief in Sirte, in accordance with the number of people arriving and their needs. The ICRC is coordinating its work with other humanitarian organizations, to avoid duplication or gaps in the response to the needs of displaced people and returnees.



International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)


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