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From the border between Libya and Tunisia, Commissioner Georgieva announces tripling of EU aid in humanitarian crisis

Egyptians running to get on the right bus to leave a refugee camp © Jim Hollander/Belga
03/03/2011  - 

The European Commission has just raised again the level of its response to the growing humanitarian crisis caused by continuing violence in Libya. From the Libyan-Tunisian border, where the humanitarian situation is compounded by the massive flow of people fleeing Libya, Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva announced that the Commission will triple its aid: 30 million EUR will be granted to meet humanitarian needs, up from the 10 million EUR that was allocated yesterday.

Ms Georgieva is currently overseeing humanitarian operations on the ground, where the Commission's humanitarian aid is already providing urgent relief to stranded refugees. In addition to supporting the evacuations, part of the European funding will be used to cater for the most urgent needs of people crossing the Libyan borders: tents, food, blankets and medical aid. Relief operations will be implemented by and coordinated with the European Commission's humanitarian partners that are already working on the Libyan borders: the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Federation of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent (ICRC), the Tunisian Red Crescent, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and European non-governmental organisations. Other humanitarian needs that may arise, including inside Libya where the situation is still difficult to assess, will also be met through this EU support.

This is the third allocation that the European Commission has made for the Libyan crisis in less than a week - last Friday, the Commission took an emergency decision to allocate 3 million EUR, which was raised to 10 million EUR on Wednesday.