First came the foreign workers -- now refugees -- who left everything to return to their home countries of Egypt, Tunisia, Bangladesh, and elsewhere out of fear for their lives. Now, UNHCR (The UN Refugee Agency) faces a new challenge: aiding Libyans within their own borders who are abandoning their homes to seek safety in other areas of their country.
New arrivals at the Egyptian-Libyan border tell UNHCR that up to 100,000 Libyans are displaced in the east of the country, forced to take shelter in homes, schools and university halls because their homes have been damaged and their families’ lives are at risk.
Fearing reprisal attacks by pro-government supporters, people are afraid to go out after four in the afternoon. Some have seen their homes completely destroyed. With mobile phone networks in eastern Libya down since Thursday, they are unable to contact their friends and families for help.
One man returned to his home in Libya over the weekend to find four rockets had flattened his home, forcing him to once again seek refuge in Egypt.
Providing humanitarian assistance to the displaced is very challenging and dangerous, but UNHCR is sending its first truckloads of aid, including 5,000 blankets and 5,000 sleeping mats, on a World Food Program convoy to opposition-held Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city.
With shortages of medical supplies and basic commodities in the east and prices having risen dramatically, UNHCR needs your help today to bring these lifesaving items to those caught in the middle of this international crisis.
After evacuating tens of thousands of migrant workers, we are facing a new challenge: Aiding those who are still within Libyan borders.
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