- Title: TUNISIA: U.S. delegation visits refugee camp on Tunisia-Libya border
- Date: 10th March 2011
- Summary: RAS JDIR CAMP, TUNISIA (MARCH 9, 2011) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT DELEGATION WALKING IN REFUGEE CAMP U.S. ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR POPULATION, REFUGEES AND MIGRATION, ERIC P SCHWARTZ, WALKING WITH UNHCR OFFICIAL MORE OF U.S. DELEGATION SPEAKING WITH REFUGEES CAMERAMAN (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR POPULATION, REFUGEES AND MIGRATION, ERIC P SCHWARTZ, SAYING: "We have heard the reports that people may have been prevented from crossing. Those reports are of deep concern to us. I think we just need to remain vigilant, we need to be prepared, the numbers have diminished of late but they could spike again and we need to be ready for any number of contingencies." MORE OF U.S. DELEGATION TOURING THE CAMP AND SPEAKING WITH THE REFUGEES REFUGEES STANDING MORE OF REFUGEES IN THE CAMP U.S. DELEGATION LEAVING IN CONVOY
- Embargoed: 25th March 2011 12:00
- Location: Tunisia, Tunisia
- Country: Tunisia
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA11DW5PK0RIL66XJ8ZWJJ6ZR9U
- Story Text: A U.S. State Department delegation visits a camp at the Tunisia-Libya border where thousands of migrant workers fleeing Libya are waiting to be repatriated.
U.S. State Department officials visited the Tunisian border crossing with Libya on Wednesday (March 9) where tens of thousands of refugees have fled from the unrest in Libya.
Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees and Migration Eric Schwartz and USAID Assistant Administrator Nancy Lindborg were among the officials to make the visit.
Schwartz said the U.S. was providing 30 million US dollars in assistance to Tunisian and international relief organisations for humanitarian aid.
The UN refugee agency, the UNHCR, estimates that 200,000 migrants from Egypt, Bangladesh, China, and other countries have left the Tunisia-Libya border. Egyptians made up the largest number of refugees by far and a majority were repatriated by air or sea last week.
The influx of refugees through the Ras Jdir crossing has decreased over the past days but international aid organisations worry that fresh fighting in Libya would trigger more migrations.
The incoming refugees are usually set up in a camp for aid organisations near the border crossing were they wait to be transported.
The International Organisation for Migration estimates that there are almost 2.5 million migrant workers in Libya. It is not clear how many of them have fled.
"'We have heard the reports that people may have been prevented from crossing. Those reports are of deep concern to us. I think we just need to remain vigilant, we need to be prepared, the numbers have diminished of late but they could spike again and we need to be ready for any number of contingencies," Schwartz said.
The U.S. delegation is due to visit Egypt on Thursday (March 10) to discuss the issue of Egyptian workers who have fled Libya.
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