Food, medical aid flocks to Libya

March 1, 2011 at 6:34 AM   |   Comments

GENEVA, Switzerland, March 1 (UPI) -- With food aid on its way, the International Committee of the Red Cross said it's "absolutely vital" that displaced Libyans get the aid they need.

U.N. World Food Program Executive Director Josette Sheeran traveled to the Libyan border with Tunisia to assess the humanitarian needs of those displaced by the political unrest in Libya.

WFP estimates that more than 40,000 people have fled to Tunisia since last week and many are left with little access to food. The food agency said last week it delivered more than 80 tons of emergency food supplies to Tunisia to help those affected by the Libyan violence.

The death toll from the violence in Libya is estimated at more than 1,000.

The ICRC said it was imperative that humanitarian corridors open up in the region.

"It's high time, and absolutely vital, that the needs of people affected are met," said ICRC Director General Yves Daccord.

U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Washington has set aside $10 million in emergency assistance for humanitarian aid groups addressing the refugee crisis.

"There are tens of thousands of refugees who have crossed over into Tunisia and Egypt and our immediate focus is what do they need, and as we continue to assess what is happening on the ground inside Libya itself," Crowley said.

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