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28-02-2011 | Africa

Libya: ICRC Director General, Yves Daccord, calls for safe access


In Geneva, ICRC Director General, Yves Daccord, calls for immediate and safe access to western Libya following two weeks of unrest in the country.

"You have to imagine its now 14 days that we have a crisis, so for the people it is extremely difficult, what we have is medical needs, enormous medical needs" says Mr Daccord.

The ICRC has an emergency team that includes surgeons and nurses, as well as medical supplies, on the Tunisian border waiting to enter western Libya as soon as security conditions permit. Another emergency team, which also includes medical staff, is already at work in hospitals in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi. However, according to Mr Daccord, the ICRC still cannot reach people in dire humanitarian need: "We do not have access to the places we really would like to have, like Tripoli, and that's very important for us, to be able to call on every person involved in the violence to let humanitarian people like us, like the Red Crescent, to get access to the people."

The ICRC now has nine delegates in Benghazi and is coordinating its efforts closely with the Libyan Red Crescent which has been working tirelessly to assist victims of the violence.

So far, in total, the ICRC has mobilized around 50 emergency specialists to respond to the diverse needs arising from the unrest.

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