Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 16 September 2014

Funding for civilians fleeing Libya

Eamon Gilmore said the funds will allow people to be taken from camps and get them back to their home country

The Government has pledged 250,000 euro towards the evacuation of innocent civilians fleeing from the conflict in Libya.

The funding for the International Organisation for Migration (IoM) will be used to repatriate foreign nationals desperate to cross into Egypt and Tunisia.

Tanaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister Eamon Gilmore said there are literally hundreds of thousands of foreign workers in the troubled African country who have found themselves caught up in the conflict.

"Nearly 10,000 people are in transit camps on Libya's borders," he said.

"These funds will allow the IoM to take people from the camps and get them back to their home country."

The donation will be made through Irish Aid, which has already given 18,500 blankets and 100 tents to the UN. It previously donated another 250,000 euro to the IoM operation on Libya's border.

Junior Minister Jan O'Sullivan said 60,000 people had already received assistance from the IoM and the UN High Commission for Refugees after fleeing the conflict.

She said: "The UN estimates that there were nearly two million foreign workers in Libya when the conflict began.

"Nearly 350,000 people have left to date and there is a clear risk that this could escalate in the coming days or weeks.

"Ireland's support for the IoM will help them to develop contingency plans as the conflict continues."

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