Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration Eric P. Schwartz and USAID Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance Nancy Lindborg will travel to Tunisia from March 8 – 10, and to Egypt from March 10 – 12, 2011 to review the humanitarian relief efforts to assist those fleeing the Libyan conflict.
Since Libya’s civil unrest began in February, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that 200,000 third-country nationals have fled from the violence into Tunisia and Egypt. The United States is deeply engaged in the international effort – which includes other countries, international organizations (IOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – to respond, and is providing $30 million for the humanitarian needs of conflict victims, vulnerable migrants, and others displaced by the increasing civil unrest in Libya. These funds support repatriation of third-country nationals and provision of emergency relief supplies along the borders as well as inside Libya. In addition, a humanitarian assessment team of 14 U.S. disaster response experts has been deployed to multiple locations in the region, and is coordinating humanitarian assistance to reach these victims of conflict as quickly as possible.
In Tunisia, the delegation will meet with Tunisian government officials and officials from the international organizations and non-governmental organizations that are providing humanitarian assistance. They will travel to Tunisia’s southern border to talk with new arrivals about their current needs as well as conditions inside Libya, and to observe U.S. government-funded assistance activities.
In Egypt, Assistant Secretary Schwartz and Assistant Administrator Lindborg will discuss humanitarian issues, including the influx of tens of thousands of returning Egyptian migrants and other foreign workers from Libya, with Egyptian officials and officials of international and non-governmental organizations.
For more information, please contact Beth Schlachter at (202) 453-9367.