There are apparently some 3,500 – 7,000 refugees stranded in camps at the Salloum Egyptian/Libyan border, perhaps waiting for days for transport or travel documents to move on – and it’s cold. Many or most have been robbed of all they had in their escape, and some maybe had nothing to start off with. These are the remainder of the near biblical numbers who poured out of Libya to all compass points, except to Europe to the north — so far.
Egyptian businesses and NGO’s have been sending trucks of water and food parcels to help these destitute people. I have heard of a truck leaving on Wednesday night for the border and five of us have raised an appeal among our networks for food. The aim is to make up 2000 parcels. The food will be delivered directly to the Egypt Red Crescent feed & World Food programme (FAO) who are on site in charge of food distribution. They need volunteers to distribute as well, and we need to ensure that the food gets to its destination and the people.
There are no cooking facilities, so the food sought are staples like bread and dates, or high energy foods like muesli bars and chocolate bars. And of course water.
Interestingly, Egyptian individuals feel empowered by the step down of their President and many are coming forward to make personal contributions. These days Egyptians walk with a spring in their step, proud now to be Egyptian and to have achieved through peaceful ways. And well they might.