U.S. Government Humanitarian Assistance in Response to the Libya Crisis

Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)–April 6, 2011.  The U.S. Government has provided $47 million to international and non-governmental organizations to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of people fleeing the violence in Libya. (Please see chart below for details.) We have deployed a team of disaster response experts to the region, and are working closely with host governments, the United Nations, NGOs and other international partners to assess and address urgent humanitarian needs in Libya and neighboring countries.

U.S. Government humanitarian assistance is also reaching beneficiaries inside Libya, providing needed medical supplies and staff, pre-positioning and distributing emergency relief commodities, and supporting medical training for mass casualty care and transport.

More than 439,000 people have fled from Libya since late February and more than 210,000 of these have been third-country nationals.. According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), roughly 6,000 people cross Libyan borders every day.

IOM and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have provided direct transportation assistance to repatriate more than 90,000 people from Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Algeria, and Niger. As of April 5, more than 13,000 people are awaiting evacuation assistance.

Current Conditions

Eastern Libya: Since enforcement began of the no-fly zone under UN Security Council Resolution 1973, there is increased international aid organization movement into eastern Libya and a greater humanitarian presence in Benghazi in particular. Relief agencies present in eastern Libya report no urgent humanitarian needs, noting sufficient medical supplies and staff in Benghazi and other eastern areas, and that port and airport facilities in Benghazi are operational.

Western Libya: Humanitarian access to western Libya is effectively prevented by the Qadhafi regime, and the overall security situation continues to limit humanitarian access and the ability of humanitarian organizations to assess and respond to needs. The U.S. government is monitoring the humanitarian situation throughout Libya and is working with international organizations and NGO partners where they are able to operate. There are reports of shortages, especially in areas affected by ongoing conflict.

The Borders

Tunisia: On April 4, fewer than 1,000 third-country nationals in need of evacuation assistance crossed the border into Tunisia. Approximately 11,500 people remain in the camps. The numbers of migrants in the transit camps near the border has increased. This increase reflects IOM’s need for more funding to resume their earlier frequency of flights.

Egypt: Approximately 2,900 people crossed into Egypt from Libya on April 4. This included close to 1,500 Libyans. NGOs working at the border noted that some men were transporting their wives and children to Egypt and then returning to Libya. The number of people currently at the border crossing at Salloum has risen to roughly 4,500 people. Humanitarian aid organizations at the Salloum crossing report concerns that, with increasing numbers of people at that location, current shelter arrangements are not adequate.

Other borders: More than 23,000 people have crossed to Niger, including more than 21,000 Nigerien nationals and the remainder other third country nationals. More than 5,000 people have crossed into Chad and 2,800 into Sudan. More than 10,000 people have crossed into Algeria.

Europe: More than 18,000 migrants, most of these Tunisians but also many sub-Saharan Africans, have landed on the Italian island of Lampedusa since the uprising in Tunisia in January. More than 800 people, primarily sub-Saharan Africans, fleeing Libya have arrived by boat in Malta.

The United States is deeply concerned about the safety of civilians caught up in this conflict, and urges all sides to facilitate the provision of humanitarian relief.

We continue to call upon Libyan authorities to provide humanitarian actors with full access and ensure the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian assistance.

Funding for U.S. Humanitarian Assistance for People Affected by the Crisis in Libya




International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Evacuation and repatriation programs for third-country nationals.


World Food Program (WFP)

Emergency food operations to respond to immediate food requirements of those who have fled Libya into Tunisia and Egypt, and to pre-position food to assist those who are most vulnerable to a deterioration of humanitarian conditions within Libya.


International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

Medical and surgical care, water and sanitation facilities, etc. in the region.


United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Management of transit centers in Tunisia; and basic services to migrants in Egypt.


Key international and non-governmental organizations

Support for other international and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) working to meet humanitarian needs, including funding for NGOs operating inside Libya to build their capacity and strengthen the provision of humanitarian assistance; and provision of emergency relief commodities (emergency health kits, trauma kits, blankets, plastic sheeting, water containers).