Aid workers struggle to stem Misrata's misery
Wednesday 20 April 2011
British medics and aid workers are part of a major operation trying to stem the human misery in Misrata, with two more ships carrying vital supplies due to dock today.
Reports from Libya's third-largest city have painted an increasingly desperate picture of a population under siege with children among those killed and wounded by relentless bombing. "Misrata's residents are now feeling very scared. They can neither find safety in the city, nor can they leave. They are trapped and remain prey to the ongoing rain of indiscriminate explosives being fired at their neighbourhoods by the Libyan leader's forces," said Donatella Rovera, one of two Amnesty International UK researchers documenting human rights abuses in the country.
"The question on virtually everyone's lips is the same one – where is the international community and why is it not doing anything to provide the protection that it promised... to the vulnerable and increasingly desperate inhabitants of Misrata?"
Last night, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) said they were hoping to get ships carrying vital supplies into Misrata today to rescue refugees and migrant workers. On Monday, the Department for International Development (DfID) pledged a further £2m on top of a previous £11m to help with the evacuation and provision of medical supplies.
The IOM, which has already sent two ships to pull out 2,200 people, taking them to Benghazi and then by road to Salum, estimated that a further 5,000 people needed rescuing from Misrata but said it was running out of funds to help tens of thousands of other people stranded in eastern Libya, Tripoli and on the borders. It was hoping to get a third ship in today to help the migrants who have been camping around the port since the early days of the conflict with little food or clean water, a spokesman said.
"The lack of sanitation and the severe health risks it poses, as well as the constant shelling and firing are the biggest risks to their lives," said the IOM's Jeremy Haslam, who has been leading the operation. "Food support for the migrants from the Libyan community has diminished over time as resources in the city in general have dried up. We need to reach them fast as they cannot bear up much longer."
Last night the Red Cross said it also had another ship due to dock in Misrata today, having evacuated 618 people on Monday to take them to Egypt via Tobruk. "These people had been stranded in dire conditions for several weeks, without proper shelter or sanitation. They had to cope with poor hygiene and were exposed to danger owing to the fighting in the city," said Javier Cepero Garcia, an ICRC delegate who is leading the evacuation.
Lincoln MP Karl McCartney 'denied all knowledge' of the Twitter activity
Detective novelist who wrote Death comes to Pemberley passed away peacefully at her home, aged 94
Sites using the popular Gigya comment platform were attacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)
- 1 Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
- 3 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 4 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
Black Friday 2014: Opening times for Asda, John Lewis, GAME, PC World and Argos
Miss Honduras Maria Jose Alvarado's stylist Luis Alfredo Garcia is found stabbed to death
Sean Abbott: Messages of support flood in for bowler following death of batsman Phil Hughes
Dr Lam Hoe Yeoh: Voyeur doctor jailed for eight years after using network of hidden cameras to film patients, colleagues and friends on the toilet
'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of web an...
£12 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Our Client has been the leader in the events...
£35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An award winning field marketing agency ...
£10000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A professional telesales/appoin...