The European Commission has deployeda multi-sectoral team of humanitarian experts to Tripoli and has opened a humanitarian aid office in the Libyan capital. The experts from the Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department are ensuring that the assistance given by the European Union in health, medicines, food and drinking water is delivered expeditiously, and that new needs are identified and addressed immediately. The experts are working closely with the humanitarian partners present in the city.

Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, said: "My major concern now is for the civilians in Tripoli. Our field experts are assessing the humanitarian situation and the fast-evolving needs in Libya's most populated city. In their initial findings the experts point out the shortage of emergency healthcare provision and the disruptions of drinking water supply. We are working with our humanitarian partners who are doing a tremendous job in a very difficult context. We have allocated €10 million to support their emergency humanitarian operations. We are fully committed to ensure that the basic and most urgent needs of the population are met as swiftly as possible.

"Safeguarding the safety of civilians is of utmost importance and a point of major concern in this volatile moment. I implore all sides to abstain from reprisals and to fully respect International Humanitarian Law," the Commissioner underlined.

The European Commission is continuing to work with its partners in Tripoli, including the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Organisation for Migration, International Medical Corps and UNICEF.

The humanitarian funding which the Commission had set aside for Tripoli is being channelled to the needy population through those partners present in the field. Of the €10 million allocation for Tripoli and the neighbourhood, €4 million has just been earmarked to support the activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Libyan capital and other cities where the conflict continues to rage. The funding will provide medical care, protection, water and sanitation and the distribution of non-food items.

The Commission's humanitarian experts in Tripoli and in Brussels are closely monitoring the water situation. Funding and material support could be made available to cover water needs of the most vulnerable Libyans if the water supply is not restored soon, the Commission said.

A boost of the funding for the protection of third country nationals, particularly sub-Saharan Africans, in the recently accessible towns and cities, is under discussion with humanitarian partners on the ground.

Humanitarian assistance will also be an important topic at the Libya Conference in Paris on Thursday, where the EU will be represented by President Jose Manuel Barroso, President Herman Van Rompuy and High Representative / Vice-President Catherine Ashton.

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