News story

Emergency relief flights for Libya crisis victims

Prime Minister David Cameron announced today that the British Government will provide emergency evacuation flights to repatriate up to six thousand people stranded in Tunisia.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

This announcement follows the UN’s request for international assistance to get people home in order to prevent the humanitarian situation Libya-Tunisia border spiralling further into disaster.

Speaking during Prime Minister’s Questions, David Cameron said:

These people shouldn’t be kept in transit camps if it is possible to take them back to their home.

We will go on doing everything we can to ease the problems at the border and make sure this emergency doesn’t turn into a crisis.

The UK Government is providing three commercial charter planes on rotation to fly people away from the camps to their home countries. The first two planes left East Midlands and Stansted airports earlier today and will fly to Djerba airport in Tunisia.  These flights will then take stranded migrants to Cairo where they will be met by the Egyptian authorities.

At least 85,000 people have crossed the border between Libya and Tunisia so far and many are stranded in hastily organised camps. Thousands of migrants are still sleeping in the open.

The Department for International Development has already flown 36,000 blankets and tents for 1,500 people to Tunisia.

Read more: Prime Minister’s Questions

Read more: DFID Situation in Libya - update

Published 2 March 2011