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Estonia to Provide Humanitarian Aid to Victims of Libyan Violence

26.02.2011

Nr 73–E

Foreign Minister Urmas Paet said that the international community must quickly come to the aid of victims of Libyan repression as well as refugees. Estonia is supporting people who have suffered under the violence of the Libyan authorities with 50 000 EUR donated through the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Paet added that the Gadhafi regime’s violence against its own people has brought about over a thousand deaths and tens of thousands of refugees. “The international community must do everything it can to end the violence and impose strong sanctions against Gadhafi and the others responsible for the violence,” he asserted.

The Estonian foreign minister stated that aid must come quickly to the people of Libya, who are afraid to leave their homes because of the threat of violence. “The growing wave of refugees from Libya will increase pressure from illegal immigration on the European Union, and in crossing the Mediterranean the refugees will risk their own lives. Therefore we should try to help their people in their homeland, so they would not attempt the desperate trip over the Mediterranean to illegally enter Europe,” said Paet. The International Committee of the Red Cross has initially issued an international appeal for 4.7 million EUR to help the people suffering in the disturbance in Libya.

Paet stated that the International Red Cross would like to send medicines and, if possible, also medical personnel to aid the injured and help to support the Libyan refugees that have fled to neighbouring nations. “The Red Cross believes that the humanitarian situation in Libya is worsening with every hour and the number of people who are leaving their homes in the name of safety is rapidly increasing. In co-operation with Tunisia and the Egyptian Red Crescent Organisation, aid is also being given to foreigners who are trying to get out of Libya or attempting to get in contact with loved ones,” said Foreign Minister Paet.

The Estonian foreign minister added that the two Estonian citizens who were in Libya have by now left the country.


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