ACF Emergency Humanitarian Team Dispatched to Libya-Tunisia Border
UPDATE: March 6, 2011—As the Libyan conflict continues, humanitarian agencies such as Action Against Hunger | ACF International are preparing for a potential new influx of displaced populations in the coming days. Action Against Hunger's teams continue to prioritize public health and sanitation in the makeshift camp of Chouchen along the Libyan-Tunisian border (five miles from Ras Jedir), which currently houses some 14,000 refugees of various nationalities awaiting repatriation to their countries of origin.
Concerned with unsanitary conditions in the camp, Action Against Hunger has organized “cash-for-work” programs by outfitting groups of refugees with sanitary equipment and cleaning materials to help collect and dispose of human waste. Action Against Hunger is also overseeing the construction of latrines along the border, which are being built in anticipation of possible “new waves of displacement if the conflict continues to rage,” according to Juanjo Tarrés, Action Against Hunger's emergency logistician in Libya.
While insecurity in the makeshift camps is not currently a problem, concerns abound about what may be happening to civilians elsewhere in Libya—in areas off limits to international aid agencies—and how the humanitarian landscape may shift if the conflict broadens in the coming days.
Madrid, Spain—As thousands flee to Tunisia from escalating violence in Libya, Action Against Hunger | ACF International has dispatched an emergency team to evaluate the urgent food, water, and sanitation needs of the displaced population—a team composed of specialists in water and sanitation, food security, and disaster response.
"The influx of people to the border between Libya and Tunisia is increasing by thousands every day," said Javier Perez, who heads the emergency team responding to the crisis. "Action Against Hunger, with funding from the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation and Caja Madrid, will coordinate with various UN agencies in areas where this situation has become critical."