U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
For Immediate Release
February 28, 2011
Humanitarian Assistance for Libya
In the midst of ongoing violence, the humanitarian situation in Libya is growing more acute. Restricted access and limited information pose distinct challenges, but the United States is actively responding and stands prepared to assist Libya’s people through this turbulent period.
* The U.S. Agency for International Development has set aside an initial $10 million in emergency assistance to support the efforts of international organizations, non-governmental organizations and the Libyan Red Crescent Society meet the most urgent needs.
* While our immediate attention is focused on the need to keep medical pipelines well stocked and intact, we are also concerned that the ongoing violence may disrupt distribution networks and lead to food shortages. USAID has therefore conducted an inventory of all U.S. food aid resources in the region and is prepared to divert or dispatch other food stocks to Libya should the need arise.
* The United States is consulting with the governments of Egypt and Tunisia on how we can assist them and the international community in managing the large numbers of workers fleeing Libya, including through the anticipated immediate dispatch of expert humanitarian teams to Libya’s borders with Tunisia and Egypt.
* USAID and our State Department’s Bureau for Population, Migration and Refugees continue to work closely with the International Organization for Migration and the UN High Commission for Refugees in order to support their efforts to manage the outflow of workers and refugees.
* The United States is committed to working with the United Nations, the European Community, the Arab League, the African Union and Libya’s neighbors to respond to humanitarian needs.
* We welcome and will respond to forthcoming appeals from UN agencies and the IOM, and call upon other countries to do the same.
* We commend the efforts of the Libyan people to tend to the needs of their fellow citizens, and in particular the medical personnel who are treating the wounded.
* We are deeply concerned about how the current situation is affecting the Libyan people and others in the country and are working intensely with the international community to meet their urgent humanitarian needs.