IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation
10 days at the Libyan-Tunisian border
IHH Emergency Aid Coordinator Recep Güzel shared his impressions about the developments which have taken place at the Ras Jedir frontier post on the Libyan-Tunisian border over the past 10 days.
Africa, Tunisia 07.03.2011

“Emergency aid supplies we delivered to the people fleeing the unrest in Libya prevented the emergence of bigger humanitarian crises. We provided food, clothing, communication and transportation services to thousands of people fleeing Libya. Our teams continue emergency relief efforts in the region,” said Güzel.

Güzel who has been on the Libyan-Tunisian border and led the relief efforts in the region over the past 10 days gave information about the latest situation in the region as well as the IHH’s efforts.

He said the IHH established two teams and began carrying out relief work in the region following the outbreak of the public unrest in the country. “We established two teams that entered Libya over Egypt and Tunisia to organize relief efforts in the aftermath of the demonstrations in the country. While IHH deputy chairman Ahmet Sarıkurt and his team of doctors entered Libya through Egypt, a six-member team including myself carried out relief efforts at the Ras Jedir frontier post on the Libyan-Tunisian border,” he said.

Güzel said a lot of people gathered at the Ras Jedir frontier post in the wake of the rising turmoil in Libya as he added: “To be frank, we were not expecting so many people to gather at the border gate. Around 2.000-3.000 people were coming to the border gate in the first days of the public unrest in Libya but this figure rose to 50.000-60.000 in the following days. A humanitarian crisis emerged at the border gate in the real sense. Particularly, Egyptian, African and Bangladeshi people were desperate and they were even unable to find drinking water. As the IHH, we immediately organized the emergency relief efforts. We immediately began delivering hot meals to the people waiting at the border. We distributed hot meals to 7.000 people daily. We also distributed food to 3.000 others who live in tents.”

IHH organized the relief efforts

Güzel said there was not any other relief foundation other than the IHH which began relief efforts at the Ras Jedir frontier post where thousands of people piled up and a humanitarian tragedy began to take place. He also said the aid supplies brought by the Tunisians for the people fleeing Libya were delivered by the IHH.

Güzel said the IHH also helped the UN for the distribution of aid supplies.

IHH helps 600 Turks, 512 Vietnamese pass the border

“We managed to help 600 Turks and 512 Vietnamese who faced problems at the border gate to pass the border without any problems. Every need of the Turks was met after they passed the border and they were sent to the hotels set by the Turkish Embassy in Tunisia,” said Güzel.

IHH teams continue relief efforts in the region

Güzel said a five-member IHH team has returned to Turkey but there are still IHH teams working at the Libyan-Tunisian border. “Regular distribution of hot meals continues at the border while the IHH team in Libya delivers mostly health services,” he said.

The Tunisian people thanked us for our efforts at the border during the time we stayed there, said Güzel, adding that the Tunisians knew the IHH very well due to the Mavi Marmara incident.

“Some Tunisian people and institutions brought us aid supplies to be distributed to the people fleeing Libya. As the amount of aid supplies increased, we rented a storage and established our own logistical center. As the IHH, we visited Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi, head of the Ennahda Movement in Tunisia while he was in Turkey for many times. We saw there that Tunisians follow all these very closely. This made our job easier,” added Güzel.

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