Aug 242011
 

HCI’s latest intervention in Libya is timely as the conflict in Libya spreads and the number of casualties and people needing medical help has increased in recent days. HCI is proud to announce that a shipment of life saving medical supplies put together in Canada has reached the port of Benghazi and is waiting to be offloaded, distributed and sent to areas where it is most needed at a very crucial time for Libya.

As a result of the country’s recent turmoil, Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city has become a regional hub for health and medical supplies. Furthermore, many of the war-injured are brought to the city for treatment. In the coming days, HCI’s ground-team will work in coordination with local committees, local hospitals, tribal leaders, as well as with local and international aid agencies to make sure the medical supplies are distributed quickly and efficiently where they are most needed.

HCI’s international team has been working against the clock to put together and send this shipment of a wide range of much needed medical supplies and equipment such as ultrasound machines, auto-collative machines as well as other medical items in addition to technical specialists to help install and operate the equipment while continuously assessing the situation on the ground throughout Libya, consulting with UN bodies and visiting some of the people directly affected by the current situation.

HCI’s relief work in Libya is carried out in close consultation with other international aid agencies operating in the area as well in coordination with the Arab Medical Union, Libyan Appeal Team, local committees and National Transitional Council’s Humanitarian Committee.

HCI’s assistance has already reached large numbers of people inside the country, on the borders with Egypt and Tunisia as well as many of still the stranded citizens of Misrata. HCI’s team and local partners work tirelessly to help those in need whenever at all feasible.

However, many more Libyans are in dire need of our help. A large percentage of Libya’s 6 million strong population is undergoing a humanitarian crisis. It is estimated that there are 300,000 internally displaced people around the country and it is estimated that over 853,800 have fled the country.

You can donate online on HCI Canada’s website by clicking here. Please feel free to use the following link if you would like to contact us regarding information on HCI’s Libya operations.

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Mar 282011
 

(Due to the sensitive nature of this information we are unable to disclose specific information and full names in this story. Please contact us if you want more specific information.)

At the border trees became washing lines.

At the border trees became washing lines.

“Across the border the roads were dark and completely deserted, there wasn’t a single vehicle anywhere, the weather was very cold, we heard two or three explosions and saw flashes of light in the distance, it was a very frightening experience,” explained HCI’s team member, Mouslem, who accompanied HCI’s first shipment of relief supplies into Libya. Mouslem, was among the tree-member team of HCI, along with several other volunteers, who decided to risk their lives and cross into Libya on the night of Saturday March the 18th, a day after the UN resolution no-fly zone was imposed and only few hours before the first strikes of the coalition forces reached Libya. “Despite the fact that we were warned at the border that the situation was very unpredictable, the thought that thousands of children in Libya were not able to access food made crossing into Libya a risk worth taking,” Mouslem stated emotionally.

HCI’s first convoy of relief supplies included food items. The decision to send food items was made after consultation with several aid agencies already on the ground in Libya such as Arab Medical Union and Medecin Sans Frontiers (MSF) personnel who had concluded a fact finding mission in the east of Libya just two days before HCI’s aid supplies were prepared. They concluded that despite the fact that there is a shortage of medical staff and drugs inside hospitals in Libya, at the moment food is what is more urgently needed, especially in the eastern parts of the country, thus the decision was made that HCI would make food items a priority in the shipment they were planning to send and within a day a shipment of essential food items including rice, pasta, and flour was prepared in Cairo and sent to the border where, it arrived there around mid day Saturday, just one day after a no-fly zone resolution was passed by the UN Security Council.

Even a young child tried to help.

A young child tried to help.

“We were on the border the day Benghazi witnessed the first direct attack by regime forces. And on that very day the country was awaiting the first strike by the coalition forces against the regime forces who were trying to enter Benghazi,” Mouslem explained.

HCI’s personnel in Cairo and Beirut were continuously in touch over the phone with the convoy, updating them about the evolving news coming from behind the border. That day the border witnessed the largest number of refugees, particularly Libyans from Benghazi fleeing the country. The border was totally overwhelmed by the large number of refugees that day; the majority were Libyans, but there were also significant numbers of Sudanese and Somali nationals trying to flee the country, finding themselves stranded at the border with no money, shelter or food, particularly the Somalis who fled their civil war-torn country to come to Libya and now cannot go back.

“I have been to this border many times before, but it had never looked like that before; car parks were filled with makeshift beds, trees became washing lines and every corner of the place had become a shelter. It was as if the border had become one big open air house” said Abu Khaled, the truck driver.

We wrapped ourselves up in blankets and headed onwards inside Libya.

We wrapped ourselves up in blankets and headed onwards inside Libya.

“Although we were planning to directly cross the border into Libya, we had to help the aid workers who were overwhelmed with refugees that day. We joined the Egyptian Red Crescent personnel and other aid agencies present at the border and started to distribute meals and food to the refugees in need. Many of them were dehydrated,” recounted Ahmed, another of HCI’s team members.

Around 6000 meals and water portions were distributed on that day at the border by aid agencies, including HCI.

In the mean time, the team was in touch with the team in Cairo and the regional office in Lebanon for feedback, and after much consideration the team in the field decided to proceed and enter Libya overnight risking their lives.

“We couldn’t wait further. The stories we heard at the border from fleeing families were shocking. We had to transport the relief items into Libya. The quantity may be very little and may not reach everyone in need, but they may help reducing the suffering of some of the women, children and elders in need, stranded and/or displaced inside Libya. So we took the decision, wrapped ourselves up in blankets and headed onwards,” added Ahmed.

Hand in hand we unloaded the trucks.

Hand in hand we unloaded the trucks.

HCI’s convoy crossed after dusk. The convoy’s first stop in Libya was at the Mesa’aad hospital, where two tribal leaders and several local aid workers were waiting them.

“Hand in hand we unloaded the trucks until the early hours of the morning. Even a young child tried to help us, despite the fact that we insisted he shouldn’t. Explosions and flashes of light, which were probably the strikes of the coalition forces on the advancing regime forces were heard and seen in the distance” Mouslem recounted. The relief supplies were then loaded on Libyan-plated trucks, each to a different destination, but all headed west of the Mesa’aad towards stranded towns in the Eastern part of the country.

This was the first shipment of relief aid into the country. HCI’s relief aid has been trying to reach the increasing number of internally displaced people in several areas around the country, such us the 20,000 people who have been taking refuge in the small town of Albethnan, east of Ajdabiya, for over two weeks. Some 5,000 people are displaced in the coastal town of Derna also. The growing phenomenon of IDPs is adding to the already dire situation inside Libya. Thousands of internally displaced people are expected to be in need of varying levels of humanitarian assistance.

More than 367,000 persons have crossed into neighboring countries as of March 26. Thousands are still stuck on the borders without adequate resources, shelter or food. The majority of the displaced are living under extremely harsh conditions, forced to flee unexpectedly and taking refuge in unprepared centers.

Much more needs to be done, and there are very few funds available for us to expand our operation. Please donate generously and help HCI help the ordinary people of Libya cope with the tragic events. Please contact us not if you want to donate. You can also donate online at HCI Canada website by clicking here.

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Mar 212011
 

Over this weekend, thousands of vulnerable families in Libya received family-sized food packages containing essential items including rice, sugar, pasta, canned food and wheat flour. HCI’s relief supplies crossed the Salloum border with Egypt overnight and in the early morning hours the much needed food items were taken to designated distribution points in cooperation with local hospitals, the Egyptian Red Crescent and the Arab Medical Union personnel on the ground. Families in the eastern part of the country received HCI’s relief supplies pending access to other parts of the country.

As a result of the current turmoil in Libya, thousands have been reported injured and dead. There is a significant increase in the number of internally displaced personnel in several areas around the country. More than 303,000 persons have crossed into neighboring countries as of March 18. Thousands are still stuck on the borders without adequate resources, shelter or food. The majority of the displaced are living under extremely harsh conditions, forced to flee unexpectedly and taking refuge in unprepared centers.

Most health facilities inside Libya, particularly in the eastern part of the country, are overwhelmed by the increasing numbers of the wounded as a result of the recent intense fighting. Medical supplies are also running short. Food supplies, particularly food for infants and other vital resources are running short as well. HCI’s team has been compounding its efforts to deliver help where it is needed the most despite the many challenges and obstacles we face.

Since the start of the crisis in Libya HCI has been working alongside its Tunisian partners to help the 160,000 refugees stranded on the Western borders of Libya with Tunis, providing them with much needed shelter and aid. Also, HCI has been working alongside its Egyptian partners to help the 130,000 refugees stranded on the Eastern border of Libya with Egypt, providing them with much needed hot meals and water.

HCI’s operation inside Libya is supported through its operation and partners in Egypt and it is managed through HCI’s Middle East Office.

Given the uncertainty around the conditions and needs inside Libya, and the volatility of the situation, HCI’s operation is periodically updated to reflect the conditions and needs on the ground.

Much more needs to be done, and there are very few funds available for us to expand our operation. Please donate generously and help HCI help the ordinary people of Libya cope with the tragic events. Please contact us not if you want to donate. You can also donate online at HCI Canada website by clicking here.

Read about HCI’s journey into Libya: Accounts from the field

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Mar 102011
 

 

Help us Help the Vulnerable People of Libya

Now that the unrest in Libya has ended, it is time to make the shift from relief to development; there is an urgent need to undertake rehabilitation initiatives that have a quick and high impact to improve the socio-economic conditions of the Libyan population.

Throughout the conflict, HCI was on the ground in Libya working in coordination with local and international bodies to implement emergency operations helping the vulnerable civilians in Libya to cope with the tragic events; in addition to securing several convoys loaded with much needed relief supplies such as medical aid, essential food items and blankets, HCI also helped prepare and distribute meals to hundreds of refugees fleeing the country stranded at the borders.

Using its decades long experience in post conflict interventions, Human Concern International is committed to support the rehabilitation and economic recovery efforts in Libya in the aftermath of the unrest through the implementation of quick impact projects and interventions to get the country back on track to economic and social development using tailored tools linking relief to longer-term development.

HCI’s operation will be periodically updated to reflect the conditions and needs on the ground. A lot needs to be done, and there are very few funds available for us to expand our operation.

That is why we are making this special appeal for help.

Libya Emergency Appeal

March 2011

Thousands are reported injured and dead as a result of the current turmoil in Libya. There is a significant increase in the number of internally displaced personnel in several areas around the country. More than 260,000 persons have crossed into neighboring countries as of March 11. Thousands are still stuck on the borders without adequate resources, shelter or food.

Health facilities inside Libya, particularly in the eastern part of the country, are overwhelmed by the increasing numbers of the wounded as a result of the recent intense fighting. Medical supplies are also running short. Food supplies, particularly food for infants, are running short as well.

HCI is now commencing its emergency operation to help the vulnerable civilians inside Libya to cope with current tragic events.

Convoys will be loaded with much needed relief supplies such as first aid and hygiene kits, blankets and shelters as well as food items, including wheat flour, canned food and baby milk. The items will be transported through the Salloum border crossing with Egypt on the Eastern part of Libya. The items are procured in Egypt, packaged and stored in containers and loaded onto Egyptian trucks by HCI’s team on the ground.

The relief items’ final destination for the time being is the eastern part of the country pending access to other parts of the country. The transportation and the distribution of the relief items inside Libya will be in coordination with the Arab Medical Union’s personnel already deployed into the Eastern part of Libya.

Since the start of the crisis in Libya HCI has been working alongside its Tunisian partners to help the 140,000 refugees stranded on the Western borders of Libya with Tunis, providing them with much needed shelter and aid.

HCI’s operation inside Eastern Libya will be supported through its operation and partners in Egypt and it will be managed through HCI’s Middle East Office.

Given the uncertainty around the conditions and needs inside Libya, and the volatility of the situation, HCI’s operation will be periodically updated to reflect the conditions and needs on the ground.

Much more needs to be done, and there are very few funds available for us to expand our operation. That is why we are making this special appeal for help.

Please donate generously and help HCI help ordinary people of Libya cope with the tragic events. PLEASE CONTACT US NOW IF YOU WANT TO DONATE. You can also donate online at HCI Canada website by clicking here.

Read about HCI’s journey into Libya: First convoy of relief items

Read about HCI’s journey into Libya: Accounts from the field

PHOTO CREDITS:

Top photo: UNHCR/F. Noy

Third photo: UNHCR/A. Duclos

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