MapAction responds to Libya crisis

Picture: Reuters/Suhaib SalemLIBYA, 3 Mar – Two MapAction teams are deploying to assist with the humanitarian crisis in Libya. One team is flying to Tunisia, another to Egypt.

MapAction’s partner the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) requested MapAction’s help on the afternoon of 2 March. The first team mobilised the same evening, for a 6am flight to Tunis. A second team meanwhile packed to fly to Cairo later the same day.

Getting the right aid to people across and beyond the Libyan territories poses a huge challenge of humanitarian intelligence gathering, planning and logistics for the international aid agencies gearing up within the region. Both the MapAction teams will gather and communicate vital information about the rapidly changing humanitarian picture within Libya and at its borders, where more than 150,000 people have already crossed into neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt.

The team leader of the Tunis team, Alan Mills, said: “This looks like one of the most complex humanitarian challenges for MapAction so far. We’re expecting to be at full stretch from the time we land, to track and map the actionable information that aid agencies will need to help people caught up in the emergency.”

Last year, MapAction volunteers deployed to the massive humanitarian crises in Haiti and Pakistan, as well as other emergencies around the world.

Picture: Reuters/Suhaib Salem