ICRC to evacuate over 510 people from Misrata

Ahram Online , Sunday 24 Apr 2011

The besieged city of Misrata's humanitarian crisis worsens forcing the International Committee of the Red Cross to evacuate residents to Benghazi

The International Committee of the Red Cross has sent its third vessel to evacuate over 510 people from the city of Misrata to safety.

Mohamed Sultan ICRC’s Cairo spokesperson told Ahram Online from Saloum over the phone, that the evacuees are mostly Libyans, Egyptians, Nigerians, and Sudanese.

Two of the evacuees were wounded, one seriously, and were taken directly to a hospital in Benghazi, the rebel stronghold and far more stable city than Misrata.

Sultan emphasized that the ICRC would like to ensure that evacuation operations continue in rotation and that is why a fourth ship is already being prepared to evacuate people from Misrata.

“The situation in Misrata is extremely worrying and expected to deteriorate even more,” Sultan noted explaining that the city lacks the basic resources for like from water and food to medical care.

Misrata’s main water pipe was severed, making it extremely hard to get water. It remains unclear how the pipe was damaged. As a result people rely on wells and the city’s desalinating station.

“The city’s infrastructure is devastated and medical care is continuing to decline,” he said adding that the main hospital is struggling to absorb patients flooding in as the number of wounded continues to rise.

Sultan added that there is a severe shortage in vital medicines.

“The red cross [ICRC] provided three square metres of medical supplies to the hospital, as well as 20 square metres of food and 8000 litres of clean water, which will be distributed with the cooperation of volunteers from the Libyan Red Cross,” he said.

The organization was also able to reach some of the detainees held by pro-Gaddafi forces and carried news of their well-being to their families.

“Representatives of the ICRC were able to visit a number of detainees in several areas and sent word to their families both in Libya and abroad that they are alive,” Sultan said.

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