After having fled Libya, some 140,000 persons found themselves stranded in the border regions of Tunisia and other neighbouring countries. Switzerland provided support to
facilitate a rapid return to their countries of origin.
Assistance for 3600 migrants who fled Libya
The lack of stability and the continuing violence led to the dramatic flight of some 140'000 citizens of third countries from Libya in the spring of 2011. Many of them ended up stranded in the bordering regions of Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Chad, and Niger, with no assistance on the part of their countries of origin to facilitate their return home. Switzerland, represented by the Federal Office for Migration (FOM) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), supported the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with financial contributions and by seconding a humanitarian expert with the aim of bringing the stranded persons back to their home countries as rapidly as possible.
Project description, goals
While some of the countries of origin organized the return trip home for their citizens in a pro-active manner, other refugees were left stranded, without support from the international community and given over to an uncertain fate in the countries bordering on Libya.
Switzerland supported the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with a financial contribution along with the deployment of a humanitarian expert.
In addition, representatives of Swiss humanitarian aid were present near the Libyan border in Egypt and Tunisia on a daily basis in order to coordinate emergency relief.
Results as seen from the angle of the beneficiaries
William L. Swing, Director-General of the IOM, had this to say in praise of the commitment manifested by the donor countries: «Thanks to the generous donations of our partner countries, the IOM together with its partners was successful in implementing life-saving measures to evacuate some 140'700 migrants, and in providing humanitarian-aid support to thousands of other refugees during the crisis in Libya.»
Joint Action by the FOM and the SDC
The project in brief
Federal bodies involved
Libyan Crisis 2011
Additional Information and Documents
The popular uprisings at the beginning of 2011 in Tunisia and Egypt also spread to Libya. To protect...