accessibility & help

How we helped in Libya and the region

Updated March 2012

The Libya & Region Appeal is now closed, but you can still help people affected by violence in Syria by donating to our Syria Crisis Appeal.

Civil unrest in the Arab world meant thousands of people were killed or injured and many more struggled to access food, water and healthcare. Money raised through our appeal went towards helping people affected by unrest in Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen.

Red Cross volunteers in Syria© InfoSyria

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is one of the few aid agencies working effectively with people affected by the unrest in Syria.

Violence in Syria has left hundreds of people dead or wounded, and many more detained. Funds from the British Red Cross' Libya & Region Appeal and Disaster Fund helped buy eight ambulances, 3,000 food parcels, 1800 hygiene kits, 3,200 thermal blankets, 1,600 kitchen sets, and 150 pairs of overalls for volunteers, and has also helped fund the Syrian Arab Red Crescent’s day to day operations.

We continue to support people in the country through our Syria Crisis Appeal.

Read more about the situation in Syria


In Libya, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has been helping people since the unrest began in February 2011. Hundreds of thousands of people fled Libya, most of them to Tunisia and Egypt, where the Red Cross also provided support.

Last February, British Red Cross volunteers and staff met every flight of people returning to the UK from Libya, providing them with practical and emotional support.

Two psycho-social support teams also travelled to Malta at the request of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to support UK nationals fleeing Libya, and one team travelled on the HMS Cumberland to support people as they were evacuated from Tripoli.

We also deployed sanitation equipment, and sanitation and logistics teams to Tunisia and logistics delegates to Egypt, to support International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) relief operations there.Boy in a Libyan hospital© Info

In 2011, the ICRC and the Libyan Red Crescent distributed around 80,000 food packages and 85,000 kits containing other essential goods to over 300,000 displaced people and returnees.

During the conflict, the ICRC also:

  • provided 68 hospitals with emergency medical supplies
  • evacuated 122 wounded patients during the conflict, and helped Libyan surgeons treat war casualties
  • provided pumps, transformers, pipes, cables and other supplies for water and electricity systems serving 400,000 people affected by the conflict
  • cleared over 2,000 unexploded devices and more than 1,000 rounds of small-arms ammunition
  • trained around 300 volunteers to deliver basic messages about the danger of unexploded devices
  • carried out 225 visits to some 14,000 people held in 100 detention facilities and provided hygiene items for 10,000 detainees
  • facilitated 23,400 phone calls, enabling people to restore contact with their families.

The ICRC continues to visit people who have been detained, deliver medical supplies and clear unexploded devices. It is also helping people returning to their homes in Sirte.


Violence in Yemen has led to hundreds of deaths, and tens of thousands of families have been displaced. The year-long demonstrations and the conflict have also taken their toll on the entire economy and have massA tent set up as part of a primary health-care project© Infoively disrupted infrastructure.

The ICRC has been delivering food aid and other essential items such as blankets, tarpaulins, kitchen sets and hygiene parcels to vulnerable people. It continues to deliver medicines, mainly for internally displaced people, to healthcare facilities. The ICRC also held a two-day training course on drug management for doctors, medical assistants and nurses working in four ICRC-supported healthcare facilities.

The ICRC has been delivering hundreds of thousands of litres of clean water to vulnerable and displaced people. It has also donated a 200-kilowatt generator and four pumps to the Aden water board, making it possible to distribute clean water to around 30,000 people. The ICRC is also repairing the water network – and water tanks and wells – in various places in Yemen.

Find out more about our current emergency appeals


Latest Libya and region news

The Libya & Region Appeal is now closed. See how we helped across Egypt, Libya, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen since February 2011.

Aid is reaching people affected by violence in Syria, where the Red Cross is one of the few aid agencies working.

The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement continues to help people as the situation in Syria deteriorates.