From Samaritan’s Purse International Relief
More than 302,000 people have fled the fighting in Libya in the past month, crossing the Egyptian and Tunisian borders in a desperate attempt to escape the mounting violence in the embattled country. Transit camps are housing thousands, some of them women and children, who are in need of food and other assistance.
With the vote to impose a no-fly zone over northern Libya, an international coalition launched air strikes on Libyan Government forces. The UN Refugee Agency estimates that only 15-20 percent of Libya’s migrant workers have left the country to date, but they expect that to change in light of the recent military activity.
Samaritan’s Purse is working alongside local partners, providing meals and other aid, and bringing desperately needed help to thousands of people.
Our staff in Tunisia reported that the population of the refugee camp there continues to decrease and is now at approximately 5,500 people. We continue to serve more than 3,800 breakfasts daily. To date, we have provided some 53,200 hot breakfasts.
In Egypt, the team has distributed over 21,500 parcels containing food and clean water, and 800 kits with hygiene items and baby food. Refugees going across the Egyptian border have reduced dramatically in the past two days and the majority of those crossing into Egypt are not being detained at the transit camp. Our partners continue to monitor the situation and remain ready to respond if necessary.
Rebels are fighting to oust long-time Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi from power, inspired by protesters who toppled authoritarian rulers in neighboring Tunisia and Egypt. The Libyan uprising, however, has already proved much more violent. Since Saturday, the United States, Britain, France, and allied nations have taken military action to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya and to protect civilians from Qaddafi's forces. Witnesses report that intense fighting continues in the country, and Qaddafi has promised a "long-drawn war."
"This remains a fluid situation, and it is possible that we could see increased numbers cross the border," said a Samaritan's Purse partner in Egypt. "Please pray for those who are still seeking refuge from the volatile situation in Libya, that they would make it safely to the border."
In response to the refugee crisis, Samaritan’s Purse quickly mobilized personnel and resources, and dispatched staff to Egypt and Tunisia to serve with our local partners in the relief efforts.
Please pray for the people who are suffering along Libya's borders, especially that they will come to know the Savior through our acts of love. Pray for the safety for our staff and partners, and for God to direct us to people most in need of help.
(Samaritan’s Purse is also helping people in Japan, Haiti and Northern New Jersey. Click here is you want to help.)