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Food Shortages Exacerbate Suffering of Migrant Centers in Tripoli

Food Shortages Exacerbate Suffering of Migrant Centers in Tripoli

Sunday, 26 January, 2020 - 10:30
Migrants are seen at the Anti-Illegal Immigration Agency in Tajora shelter center in Tripoli, Libya April 24, 2019. (Reuters)
Cairo - Jamal Jawhar

Dozens of illegal migrants held in centers in western Libya have been suffering from severe shortages of food, medicine, heating devices and blankets.

The migrants have appealed for help from international relief organizations to rescue them.

According to Souq al-Khamis detention center in Khoms City (east of Tripoli), more than 100 migrants, including women and children who have been held at the center since Jan. 9, need urgent support.

Khoms city’s security directorate “had previously brought 109 migrants from the sea after saving them from drowning,” the center said, adding that it has since been treating their injuries and feeding them after informing international organizations.

An official at the center, which was closed two years ago by the Government of National Accord (GNA) authorities for violations, told Asharq Al-Awsat on Saturday that the conditions of migrants from several African countries are “very bad, especially in light of the severe cold weather.”

He pointed out that many women and children are sick and need health care more than what is currently available.

“We receive support from individuals to feed our migrants, but it is not enough for their daily needs,” said the official, who preferred to be unnamed.

The GNA must provide necessary support for migrants before a humanitarian catastrophe occurs, he stressed.

Head of the National Commission for Human rights in Libya (NCHRL) Ahmed Abdul Hakim Hamza has appealed for the migrants to be rescued

“There has been an acute crisis in some migrant centers in providing food and drink for more than a month now,” he stressed.

He pointed out that one of the centers houses 1,500 migrants, but suffers a food shortage.

In a statement on Saturday, the official called on the concerned authorities to remedy the crisis, noting that among those suffering are dozens of women and children.

He said heads of these centers have been complaining that catering companies do not provide them with enough food. The companies, in turn, say the interior ministry, which is overseeing the centers, has stopped paying its dues.

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