The European Union has provided more than €156.5 million in humanitarian support since early spring when the crisis began. The European Commission contributed more than €80.5 million to the overall European humanitarian assistance envelope. The Commission has helped mobilise EU civil protection teams and assets to alleviate the plight of civilians both in Libya and at its borders. Since the beginning of the crisis, the Commission's humanitarian teams have been working on the ground with humanitarian partners to ensure that priority needs are met and aid is adequately coordinated, both in Libya and in neighbouring countries.
The humanitarian situation is Libya has significantly improved and humanitarian needs are mainly covered. Nevertheless, the coordination of relief actions, access to and protection of the civilian population – in particular Sub-Saharan Africans, Internally Displaced Persons, minority groups and ex-combatants – remain a serious humanitarian concern. Another humanitarian issue is serious contamination with mines, arms and ammunitions in former areas of fighting, especially in Sirte and Bani Walid.The European Commission is providing additional funding of €500 000 in order to respond to the increased need for the rapid clearance of unexploded ordnances and booby traps in battleground areas in Libya, bringing to nearly €2 million the Commission's funding for mine action in Libya.
The European Union has been the largest provider of humanitarian aid during this crisis. Commission-funded humanitarian assistance has supported: the people fleeing Libya, the repatriation of third-country nationals, assistance to Libyans and refugees who cannot go back to their home country, the evacuation of Europeans and the pre-positioning of emergency stocks to provide relief aid inside Libya.
Throughout the crisis, the Commission has coordinated its activities with humanitarian partners and EU Member States. This means the rapid and effective scaling-up and delivery of aid to all of Libya can be assured, and needs identified and addressed immediately.
The Commission deployed teams of experts in humanitarian aid and civil protection to the Tunisian, Egyptian and Algerian borders and inside Libya. As soon as humanitarian access was possible in Tripoli – in late August – the Commission opened a humanitarian office in the Libyan capital. This is ensuring that EU assistance in health, medicine, food and drinking water is delivered fast and that new needs are identified and addressed immediately. Commissioner Georgieva travelled to the Libyan/Tunisian border in March to coordinate the EU humanitarian response and to discuss the situation with the Tunisian authorities and humanitarian partners.
In the early weeks of the crisis, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism played an integral part in the evacuation of EU citizens from Libya and in the repatriation of third country nationals who had fled Libya and were stranded at its borders. In a collective European effort, 5 800 European citizens were airlifted or shipped to safety and over 2 000 third-country nationals were transported to their home countries.