Caritas Works to Help Stranded Workers in Libya

Peace in Sudan

Ghanean migrant workers waiting to be bussed out of Salloum, Egypt. Photo by Jason Belanger / CRS

A Caritas team has been assessing needs of migrant workers fleeing violence in Libya and stranded on the Egyptian-Libya border in Salloum.

Speaking from the border crossing, CRS country representative for Egypt, Jason Belanger, said, “The situation is calm. Some of the migrants are saying they have not received enough food and water. Mostly men, they are sleeping out in the open. Sanitation is a key concern with an acute lack of toilets.

“The Caritas response is looking at providing food, bottled water, hand sanitizers, and blankets, as its quite cold at night. We’re looking at ways to improve sanitation. We’re also looking at providing some counseling, although people are not traumatized. Mostly they’re tired, and they just want to go home.”

Around 6,000 migrant workers are stranded in Salloum and around 5,000 people are arriving daily.

Asian and African migrants wait two to six days to be processed through the border. They are the difficult cases because of the lack of documentation or lack of embassy support to assist in repatriation efforts.

The team says most of the basic needs of migrants in Salloum are being met, but there is an urgent need to speed up the repatriation process.

The team includes staff from Caritas Egypt and Catholic Relief Services (CRS is a Caritas member).

Learn more about these struggles in the middle east.

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