Humanitarian aid amidst the shelling of Misrata

Libya, May 5, 2011

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As the city of Misrata is indiscriminately shelled and bombed, putting innocent civilians' lives at risk, Mercy Corps emergency response team member Fadl Moukadem is helping coordinate relief efforts in the city, including getting people evacuated from the war zone by boat. You can see him in this video from CNN, clad in his Mercy Corps vest — especially around the 2:20 and 2:26 marks:

The situation in Misrata is turning increasingly violent, with residential areas now targets for mortars and families caught in the crossfire. Safety is sharply declining, while casualties rise by the day. It's estimated that as many as 40,000 families are trapped in the besieged city, a place where most communications have been cut and food supplies are rapidly dwindling.

At the center of it all, Fadl and our team are working hard to identify and meet needs in what is now a war zone. Fadl is leading coordination efforts among the humanitarian organizations coming in and out of Misrata, including:

  • Conducting assessments in hard-hit places like local hospitals,
  • Helping facilitate and deliver shipments of food and other relief supplies to families, and
  • As you see in the video above, expediting and organizing evacuations from the city, even while bombs and shells are falling.

It's an increasingly desperate situation in Misrata. Fadl is in contact with our team in Benghazi, where most of the evacuees are being taken, to help determine needs and actions in a constantly-changing crisis.

This part of Libya is one of the world's most dangerous places right now. We will continue to update you on our efforts to help families caught in the crossfire on this blog, as well as on our Facebook and Twitter pages.