Women in a migrant detention center in Libya ANSA/ ZUHAIR ABUSREWIL (November 7, 2017)
Women in a migrant detention center in Libya ANSA/ ZUHAIR ABUSREWIL (November 7, 2017)

Three Italian non-government organizations will start start working in a center for migrants in Libya in the new year, giving food and assistance to people stranded there.

The NGO Italian Refugee Council (CIR), in partnership with the European Committee for Training and Agriculture and the Tree of Life Foundation, will undertake a project to support migrants at the Tarek al Matar migrant center in Libya.

Work on the project, which is part of the Emergency Program of Italian Cooperation will start on January 8, 2018 and continue for four months. 

Protecting migrants and aiding Libyans

"In a worrisome context such as that of migrant centers in Libya, the project aims to increase the level of protection of the migrant population at the Tarek al Matar center, with particular focus on the most vulnerable categories," CIR said in a statement.

In October, the NGO conducted several site visits to gather information about the needs of the people staying there. CIR said there will also be projects to improve health services for the Libyan population, through the support of the Tripoli Medical Center hospital. 

The project "provides for two types of interventions", said CIR. "On the one hand, direct assistance to people, that will take place through the distribution of material goods and food, psycho-social assistance and rehabilitation; on the other hand, technical and operational training within the centre, in order to begin a process of alignment with international standards and to promote the respect of fundamental human rights," it said. 

Contribution "essential" for migrants 

According to CIR, migrant detention in Libya "is a situation that pre-dates the 2011 revolution. The centres were established over a few years starting in 2000, to discourage migration to Libya and Europe. Since then, various international organizations have denounced the abuses that were taking place within," CIR said. 

CIR has been in Libya since 2009 with an office in Tripoli, said CIR President Roberto Zaccaria. "It knows the context well and is the only organization that has kept its international staff, even in the most difficult times from a security point of view," Zaccaria said.


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