28 February 2011
The British Red Cross has launched an emergency appeal to help people affected by the unrest in Libya and the wider region.
Violent clashes in Libya have left hundreds of people dead and thousands injured. Tens of thousands of people are also leaving their homes and crossing to Tunisia and Egypt.
©Reuters/ AlertnetThe International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has been on the ground helping people since the beginning of the unrest, but more support will be needed as the crisis unfolds.
Money raised from the appeal will be used to support the Movement’s response to the crisis, including healthcare and medical supplies for people affected by the unrest in Libya and food, shelter and first aid for people crossing into Tunisia and Egypt.
It will also be used as needed across the wider Middle East and North Africa region, if civil unrest continues or erupts in nearby countries.
Libya crisis response
A medical team, including two surgeons, from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) arrived in Benghazi on Sunday. Truckloads of Red Cross medical supplies are due to arrive in Libya from Cairo in the next few days.
Since the outbreaks of violence in Benghazi began, the Libyan Red Crescent has been responding with basic medical care and transporting injured people to hospital. It has also provided blood units to the town’s four hospitals.
"We're here to support the Libyan Red Crescent, who have been doing an excellent job over the past week responding to the violence," said Simon Brooks, the ICRC's team leader in Benghazi. "We hear that surgeons and orthopaedic specialists are needed in Benghazi's hospitals, as well as medicine for patients suffering from chronic illnesses. Our initial assessment is that there is no urgent need for food supplies. It's difficult to know, however, what the needs are outside the city."
The Egyptian Red Crescent and Tunisian Red Crescent are working at their countries’ borders with Libya, providing food and basic medical care to people crossing from Libya.
British Red Cross response
©Reuters/ AlertnetAs well as launching an emergency appeal for funds, the British Red Cross has made an initial £150,000 donation from its Disaster Fund to help people caught up in the crisis.
British Red Cross staff and volunteers have spent the last few days working airside at Gatwick Airport, providing practical and emotional support to people returning to the UK from Tripoli.
Two British Red Cross psycho-social support teams have also travelled to Malta at the request of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to support UK nationals evacuated from Libya.
The Libya & Region Appeal will cover numerous countries including those currently affected and those potentially affected in the future.
In the event that we raise more money than can be reasonably and efficiently spent, any surplus funds will be used to help us prepare for and respond to other humanitarian disasters either overseas or here in the UK.
Donate to the appeal
More information about emergency appeals