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Assessment team dispatched to Libya

Libya, February 27, 2011

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Mercy Corps is sending a team of experts to Libya to assess how we might help address the urgent needs stemming from the political crisis engulfing the country. The team is expected to arrive in Libya by mid-week.

The Libya assessment team is led by Steve Haley, who currently directs Mercy Corps programs in Lebanon and formerly held the same post in northern Iraq. The team's first goal is to determine current and projected humanitarian needs. Violence and displacement caused by the political upheaval could have dramatic impacts on critical services, such as health, as well as the availability of food and water.

There may also be significant humanitarian needs stemming from the flow of refugees into neighboring countries, including Egypt.

The team plans to meet with community leaders to determine what role Mercy Corps can best play in meeting humanitarian needs and supporting Libya's probable political transition.

The two-week assessment builds on Mercy Corps' robust emergency response, economic development and governance work in five countries in the Middle East, plus the West Bank and Gaza.

In the region, Mercy Corps responds to immediate humanitarian needs such as food and water shortages; works with communities to build roads, schools, and other infrastructure; empowers youth leaders through its Global Citizen Corps program; and nurtures civil society organizations — from parent-teacher associations to farmers' co-ops — that are integral to well-functioning democracies.