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International Group Agrees To Create Funding Mechanism To Provide Humanitarian Aid For Libya

Foreign affairs ministers and representatives of international organizations, who met in Rome for the second meeting of the Libya Contact Group, “agreed to create a new funding mechanism to support humanitarian action and reconstruction in Libya,” Devex’s blog “The Development Newswire” reports. 

“The group was established in the United Kingdom in March to coordinate the international response to the political crisis in Libya,” the news service writes. The group said it would “‘intensify the pressure on the regime politically, militarily and economically until they fulfill in full the conditions set out in the [U.N. resolutions],’ which call for the end of attacks against civilians” (Pasquini, 5/6).

“Several countries have pledged humanitarian aid to the provisional rebel leaders, but only France, Italy and Qatar have officially recognized them as Libya’s legitimate government. That complicates financial support to a country that remains under the United Nations sanctions, which are intended to restrict the flow of money, oil and weapons to Colonel Qaddafi,” the New York Times reports.  

“The new fund announced here in Rome was intended to circumvent the sanctions, but the officials who gathered did not specify exactly how the fund would work,” the newspaper writes, adding that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton “noted that the United States had authorized $25 million in nonlethal military surplus, including uniforms, binoculars and boots, and $66 million more in humanitarian aid” (Myers/Donadio, 5/5).

Also last week, a State Department spokesperson said in a statement that the U.S. was “making available an additional $6.5 million for International Organization for Migration operations in response to the crisis in Libya … This brings to $53.5 million the total the U.S. Government is providing for emergency assistance and to meet the humanitarian needs of conflict victims, vulnerable migrants, and others displaced by the civil unrest in Libya” (5/4).

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