By Fred Lauener, Caritas Switzerland, reporting from the Egyptian-Libyan border, where Caritas is distributing emergency aid to migrants fleeing the unrests in Libya. Read the original blog in German 70-year-old Samer is Palestinian. The Gaza strip is his home, but he has lived and worked in Libya for 36 years. His two sons and his daughter grew up in Libya and are grown-up. His wife passed away.
By Fred Lauener, Caritas Switzerland, reporting from the Egyptian-Libyan border, where Caritas is distributing emergency aid to migrants fleeing the unrests in Libya. Read the original blog in German Yesterday, a lot of people had to pack their stuff at the Salloum border camp. Salloum looked like a crowded, badly-organised coach station. Dozens of buses were obstructing the access to the camp. There has been a lot of movement here in the last days. A lot of people could finally leave. Among them were many of the young men from Chad who were by far the biggest group in the camp. A lot of them had come to Salloum not only because they had lost their jobs but most of all because they were fearing for their lives. Young black Africans are under general suspicion as Gaddafi mercenaries.
Credits: Fred Lauener/Caritas Switzerland Fred Lauener from Caritas Switzerland arrived in Salloum on the Libyan-Egyptian border on Thursday to support the ongoing Caritas emergency aid distributions for migrants fleeing the violence in Libya. Here are some of his accounts from the last days. (Read his original blogs in German) “Today, there have hardly been any migrants arriving at the border in Salloum. Maybe that is a consequence of the no-flight zone that was decided yesterday. We don’t know yet. The tension among the Chadian migrant workers however, who have been stuck here for up to two weeks, is growing. Some of them have been on hunger strike and refusing liquids since this morning. Another group armed itself with sticks and demanded to speak to embassy representatives. They want to go home! We are trying to calm down the situation. “Yesterday, I travelled to Salloum from Kairo. The trip by bus […]
Migrants can call their families for free on arrival through Caritas and its partner OKUP. Credits: OKUP
Caritas Bangladesh and its partner organisation OKUP are providing assistance to Bangladeshi migrant workers fleeing the social unrests in Libya on their arrival at Dhaka airport. Returnees are given some money, food and transport facilities to reach bus terminals or railway stations. While Caritas asked about his needs, 32-year-old construction worker Salim told them how he witnessed the fighting.
“When I left the capital Tripoli the situation was very bad. I saw a lot of demonstrations and fighting. The protesters against Libyan President Qaddafi were carrying rifles and machine guns and the repression from the army was very tough. I saw people get beaten and we could hear shots.
“I didn’t feel safe there anymore, the situation was very dangerous. As a foreigner, you had to be careful not to be drawn into the unrest. […]
Available in French
Caritas staff Suzanna Tcalek and Sébastien Dechamps met Hassen and his family during their evaluation mission at the Tunisian-Libyan border. (See an account of the mission and view more pictures)
“Hassen runs a little commerce in the city of Mansura some three hundred kilometers from the border. He has mobilized a collection between his fellow citizens and after four hours on the road he and his family have reached the camp this morning with his little truck stuffed with food parcels. A distribution is set up quickly, the organization in the camp is loose and today the distribution points have multiplied around the new convoys that are steadily arriving. “This is obvious: these people need help and we all can do something…while waiting and hoping the situation in Libya will have a positive ending”. He knows Caritas, or better he knows Secours Catholique-Caritas France: once a migrant […]
[slideshow]Credits: Sébastien Deschamps/Secours Catholique-Caritas France Available in French A Caritas assessment team made up of staff from Secours Catholique-Caritas France and Catholic Relief Services (CRS is a US member of Caritas) assessed this weekend the needs of migrant workers stranded on the Libyan-Tunisian border following to the social unrests in Libya. View pictures from the mission. The team sent the following account from the border: “The team arrived in Ras Ajdir on 5 March and went straight to the border to count the number of people crossing. Compared to the previous days, the number was fairly small, around a few hundred people. Most of them were from Bangladesh, the others were Egyptians, Libyans or from other African and Asian Countries.
A Caritas team has been assessing needs of migrant workers fleeing violence in Libya and stranded on the Egyptian-Libya border in Salloum.
Around 6000 migrant workers are stranded in Salloum and around 5000 people are arriving daily.
Asian and African migrants wait two to six days to be processed through the border. They are the difficult cases because of the lack of documentation or lack of embassy support to assist in repatriation efforts.
The team says most of the basic needs of migrants in Salloum are being met, but there is an urgent need to speed up the repatriation process.
The team includes staff from Caritas Egypt and Catholic Relief Services (CRS is a Caritas member).
Speaking from the border crossing, CRS Country Representative for Egypt Jason Belanger said, “The situation is calm. Some of the migrants are saying they have not received enough food and water. Mostly men, they are sleeping out in […]
Caritas members from around the world are seeking ways to help migrants and Libyans fleeing the social unrest in Libya.
More than 100,000 people have already arrived in Tunisia and Egypt. More migrant workers are expected to arrive on Libyan borders as violence continues in the North African country.
Caritas has sent two Emergency Response Teams to the Libyan-Egyptian and the Libyan-Tunisian borders in order to assess the migrant workers’ needs and set up emergency aid. (View pictures from the Libyan-Egyptian and the Libyan-Tunisian border.) In addition to that, Caritas is working in close collaboration with its national member organisations in Niger and Libya.
Migrants living in Libya are in a particularly vulnerable situation. Libya counts 500,000 to 1.5 million immigrants. Most of them are from sub-Saharan Africa and were stranded in Libya while trying to reach Europe.
Whereas many Tunisian and Egyptian nationals have managed to regain their home country, migrants from other countries are less […]