News / Africa

UN Evacuates Staff From Egypt

UN soldiers escort UN staff based in Egypt after they arrive in Cyprus' Larnaca airport, February 3, 2011.
UN soldiers escort UN staff based in Egypt after they arrive in Cyprus' Larnaca airport, February 3, 2011.

As the security situation in Egypt worsens, the United Nations has begun to withdraw its staff from Egypt, with around 600 personnel and their families being evacuated to Cyprus.

Those being evacuated represent U.N. agencies, including the World Health Organization, the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

Spokesman Rolando Gomez sai  staff and their families had been given the option to fly either to Cyprus or Dubai.

"The U.N. in Cyprus has made arrangements to receive a number of U.N. staff and their family members who are based in Egypt, who will be temporarily relocated to Cyprus," he said. "We have made preparations for up to four U.N. chartered flights to land at the Larnaca airport.

The first flight to Larnaca from Cairo arrived mid-afternoon Thursday, despite some calls from within Egypt for the United Nations to keep its presence there.  However, the increasingly volatile situation led U.N. decision-makers to call for a pullout of “less essential” personnel.

A number of U.N. staff members are remaining behind in Egypt to carry out essential tasks, so this isn’t a full evacuation - it is a relocation of a number of staff who will be received by the UNFICYP (United Nations Force in Cyprus) members at the airport.

In a separate development, the United States says more than 1,900 Americans have been evacuated since Monday, with additional flights planned.

For those that had spent days of uncertainty at Cairo airport, the relief at finally touching down at so-called “safe haven” airports such as Cyprus is evident - and everyone has a different story to tell.

Reports suggest that around 5,200 passengers of various nationalities were at Cairo airport on Thursday, waiting for commercial or government-chartered flights.

An estimated 50,000 Americans live and work in Egypt, many of whom have been calling their embassy requesting assistance to leave.

The unrest is also harming the lucrative tourism industry, which attracts more than 10 million visitors a year and up to $11 billion in revenues.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid