Posted by: africanpressorganization | 28 November 2014

Benghazi: Civilians paying the price of conflict


Benghazi: Civilians paying the price of conflict


GENEVA, Switzerland, November 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Libyan Red Crescent are deeply concerned about the civilians caught up in the fighting in Benghazi, and urge all parties to respect and protect them.


Every aspect of civilian life in Benghazi has been adversely affected by the ongoing conflict. Services at the main hospitals in the city have been seriously disrupted by the precarious security conditions, foreign health workers have left, and there is an acute shortage of medical supplies: as a result, there is little or no access to health care. The violence has forced over 10,000 families to flee Benghazi; many others have been displaced within the city.


“The fighting has reached heavily populated areas,” said Omar Jaouda, the secretary-general of the Libyan Red Crescent. “It has become extremely difficult to move about in the city. There are checkpoints everywhere. Cash is scarce, and even basic items of food are in short supply. The situation will only worsen if the fighting continues. Volunteers at our National Society are working round the clock to evacuate the wounded and help civilians reach safe areas, but access to people in need is becoming increasingly problematic.”


The ICRC, in partnership with the Libyan Red Crescent, is responding to health emergencies in Benghazi and throughout the country. In recent days, it has donated medical supplies, surgical instruments and body bags to the Benghazi Medical Centre. It has also provided the Libyan Red Crescent in Benghazi with 6,000 blood bags, as well as blood-giving sets and hundreds of body bags. ”We remind all parties to the conflict to respect the lives and dignity of civilians and facilitate the work of medical workers and Libyan Red Crescent volunteers,” said Antoine Grand, head of the ICRC’s delegation for Libya, who is temporarily based in Tunis. “We will continue to do our utmost to assist the victims of the conflict in Benghazi and in Libya as a whole, despite these extremely testing circumstances.”


The ICRC is carrying on its humanitarian work in Libya through its 140 local staff and its four offices in Tripoli, Benghazi, Misrata and Sabha.



International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)


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