Large Number of Migrants in Tripoli in Need of Evacuation

Posted: 
08/18/11

IOM is working to evacuate the growing number of migrants in need
of help in the Libyan capital, Tripoli.

The Organization has received several requests to evacuate
foreign nationals in Tripoli who are increasingly vulnerable and
now want to leave.

Large numbers of Egyptian migrants are still believed to be in
Tripoli and in the western part of Libya, with many other
nationalities still present in the capital. Exact numbers of the
total migrant population in the capital area are unknown.

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Thousands of Egyptians have now registered with their Embassy
and are ready for evacuation.

As IOM actively prepares a foreign national evacuation plan
taking into account the highly complex logistical, political and
security challenges, the Organization will soon be in need of
significant new funds to carry out this urgent humanitarian
operation.

"A rapid response on this is critical to ensuring that in the
small window of opportunity we have to get people out of Tripoli,
we are not constrained by funding issues," says Pasquale Lupoli,
Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, in
Cairo.

In addition to the many thousands of stranded migrants IOM has
assisted elsewhere in Libya since the start of the crisis in late
February, IOM has evacuated more than 10,000 migrants by road from
Tripoli to the Tunisian border point at Ras Adjir. That evacuation
route had eventually to be abandoned due to increased fighting
between rebel and government forces.

As logistics for this special operation from Tripoli are put
into place, the Organization is continuing to evacuate migrants
elsewhere.

Today, another IOM-chartered ship will be leaving the eastern
Libyan town of Benghazi for Misrata on the 15th mission to evacuate
migrants, mainly from northern African. It is the first of two
rotations to take place between now and mid next week.

More than 8,300 migrants and wounded civilians have so far been
assisted by IOM on its Misrata operations with funding from the
European Commission's Humanitarian and Civil Aid department (ECHO),
the Australian, British, German, Irish, Japanese and US
governments. The Organization has also delivered several thousands
of humanitarian aid to the port city.

For further information, please contact:

Jemini Pandya

IOM Geneva

Tel: + 41 22 717 9486/+ 41 79 217 3374

E-mail: "mailto:jpandya@iom.int">jpandya@iom.int

or

Jumbe Omari Jumbe

Tel: + 41 22 717 9405/+ 41 79 812 7734

E-mail: "mailto:jjumbe@iom.int">jjumbe@iom.int