International Medical Corps’ emergency response team in Eastern Libya is distributing critically needed humanitarian supplies to approximately 25,000 displaced persons who have fled heavy fighting in Ajdabiya. The displaced are gathering in Al Butwen, a small town 35km east of Ajdabiya, with more still arriving.
The only health clinic in Al Butwen has a serious shortage of medical supplies, water and no electricity. International Medical Corps plans to distribute an emergency health kit – which serves a population of 30,000 for one month – as well as a doctor and two nurses to support the clinic.
Today International Medical Corps is assessing the surrounding areas to ascertain if other settlements are being established and will operate mobile clinics for other settlements as necessary.
International Medial Corps’ East Libya Team Leader Chris Skopec has been speaking to some of the displaced families. “The people of Al Butwen have been unbelievably hospitable to those arriving from Ajdabiya – most homes are currently occupied by 4-7 families. If the fighting stops they want to return to their homes, but I’ve already spoken to two families whose homes in Ajdabiya have been destroyed,” he said.
International Medical Corps’ emergency response teams in Libya and at the borders in Tunisia and Egypt are assessing ongoing needs, providing medical care and critical supplies.
Through a $1 million grant from USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), International Medical Corps is addressing immediate health care gaps in Libya. Teams are also assisting in establishing a unified mechanism for reporting needed medical supplies and coordinating donated items. In addition, International Medical Corps has been working to preposition essential medical supplies (such as surgical instrument sets and basic health care equipment) and non-food items (including hygiene kits, blankets, and water containers) donated through gift-in-kind partners MAP International and AmeriCares.
Clashes between protestors and government loyalists began last month and intensified February 25 in and around Tripoli. The number of those killed in Libya is thought to be in the thousands, while Internet has been cut off and many foreign journalists are not allowed to enter the country.