News / Africa

Aid Agencies Finds Libyan Camp Conditions 'Horrific'

Lisa Schlein

An inter-agency assessment mission to the remote southeastern Libyan town of Al-Kufrah has found around 3,000 to 4,000 African migrants living under horrific conditions in a camp on the outskirts of the town. The U.N. and private aid agencies on the mission report the mainly Chadian and Sudanese migrants have no basic services, are subject to theft and physical assault and are desperate to leave.

Desperate need

The assessment team says the African migrants are in desperate need of help. It says they are living under basic shelter and without access to running water, sanitation, electricity or security.

Spokeswoman for the International Organization for Migration, Jemini Pandya, says the migrants are living under very flimsy, open structures. She says the rudimentary shelters are constructed from anything they can find-bits of plastic or clothing. And, these are tacked onto wooden branches, which are then covered with straw.

“Migrants expressed to IOM their concern, in particular about security issues in the camp and the lack of health care," said Pandya. "There is no surrounding fence or wall around the area to protect the migrants and they said that they suffered very much from theft, physical assault and sometimes murder as people enter the camp from the town at night and steal their belongings at gunpoint.”  

The camp is near the desert. Given the flimsy nature of the shelters, Pandya says the migrants are constantly being bitten by scorpions. She says migrants have to make a 20-kilometer round trip to get medical treatment. If they return home at night, she says they often are prey to bandits.

Al-Kufrah camp

The camp at Al-Kufrah was established many years ago. It housed the many African migrants who were en route to Benghazi or to Europe in search of work. Prior to the outbreak of the conflict in Libya, an estimated 15,000 migrants, mainly Chadians and Sudanese, lived there.

Pandya says the camp population fluctuates on a daily basis as migrants arrive or leave for Benghazi, which is some 600 kilometers away. She says the Africans currently residing in the camp are desperate to get away.  

“A representative for the Chadian migrants at the camp told IOM that about 1,000 of his compatriots want to return home but have no money to pay for transport with many Sudanese migrants also in a similar position," said Pandya. "Now, the assessment team…also found other migrants from various nationalities living elsewhere in al-Kufrah, working as casual laborers, working as farm workers or carrying out menial tasks.”

Healthcare

Al-Kufrah is in a remote area near the Sudanese border.The assessment team found the lack of healthcare to be a major concern. It says the city hospital is in terrible condition, lacks the most basic medicines and only has one or two surgeons.

It notes most of the doctors and nurses on staff had been Egyptian migrants who returned home at the start of the crisis. It says a few North Korean and Pakistani healthcare workers remain in the town.

You May Like

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid