Aid workers struggle to stem Misrata's misery

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.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
Courtney Love has admitted using heroin while pregnant with Frances Bean Cobain, her daughter with Kurt Cobain
people
Sport
Murray celebrates reaching the final
tennis
Arts and Entertainment
'The Archers' has an audience of about five million
radioA growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried
News
i100
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Construction Solicitor - City

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: NON-CONTENTIOUS (0-2 PQE) - A rare opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Financial Analyst

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Financial Analyst is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Business Support Administrator - Part Time

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the South West'...

Recruitment Genius: Secretary

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This major European Intellectual Propert...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness