Saturday, July 20, 2024

No specific request to IOM yet

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) yesterday made an urgent appeal to the international community for funding so that it could help evacuate migrants from turbulent Libya.
“We are very concerned for all those migrants who may wish to leave, but cannot. Many countries without the adequate resources to evacuate their nationals are now asking IOM for help. We are therefore urgently appealing to donors for funding to allow us to intervene,” said Laurence Hart, IOM’s chief of mission for Libya.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has expressed deep regrets in the loss of lives and injuries of people in Libya violence and said it is in close contact with the Libyan Red Crescent Society, which has provided blood supplies for several hospitals in Benghazi.
It was preparing to send medical facilities and treat the injured in the North African country, the ICRC said.
Meanwhile, a team from IOM Egypt, UN High Commissioner for the Refugees (UNHCR) and UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) is starting today an assessment on a Libyan border crossing situated close to the Egyptian town of Salum.
Bangladesh has only asked the IOM and the ICRC to help evacuate the Bangladeshis in need but has not made any formal appeal yet.
“The IOM headquarters is waiting for the Bangladesh government to make a concrete request for evacuation. Then only, the IOM can start assessment what is required for the task,” an IOM spokesperson told The Daily Star yesterday.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment opened a control room to create an efficient communications system with the Bangladeshi expatriates in Libya, their employers, and relatives at home.
It is still at the level of monitoring the situation when over 50,000 of its citizens are trapped and many thousands are passing days with minimal or no food and drinking water.
Many labour camps came under attack and loot, and in some cases the recruiting companies abandoned them in peril.
Expatriates’ Welfare Ministry Joint Secretary Ashadul Islam said the Bangladesh embassy in Tripoli is asking the companies that recruited Bangladeshis to shift them to safer places in or outside Libya.
There is a report that around 450 Bangladeshis who were trying to cross the Egyptian border were barred by the Egyptian immigration forces. Islam said they had no such report.
On food shortages of the workers, he said Libya is solely dependent on food import. So, it is quite normal that food supply chain could collapse, he said.
Meanwhile, the IOM said more number of migrants crossed the Ras Adjir border into Tunisia yesterday than on previous days to flee the violence in Libya. Most of them were Tunisians.
About 15,000 Egyptians, some Libyans and more than 6,700 Tunisians have fled across the Ras Adjir border point in three days. On Tuesday night, large numbers of Egyptian and Chinese migrant workers arrived on the border.
However, IOM is concerned that there is no evidence of large numbers of migrant workers from Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia leaving Libya for either Tunisia or Egypt.
It is unlikely they have the resources to rent vehicles to get to border areas and reach safer places, said Laurence Hart of the IOM.

 

Courtesy of The Daily Star

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