(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
An emergency operation overseen by the World Food Programme (WFP) was initiated after the Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs requested that food assistance be given to Egyptians who are leaving Libya to head back to their homeland.
The official agreement emergency support operation was officiated today and is expected to last for three months. After which the Ministry of Manpower and Migration and the Ministry of Social Solidarity will take on the operation from the WFP.
Families will be able to get basic food items using a monthly food voucher worth $13 US.
The significance of the food vouchers is to provide immediate relief to Egyptians leaving Libya who do not have enough food to survive off of.
Approximately 60,000 Egyptians and their families, which is a total about about 300,000 people, are expected to make the trip from one of five governorates in Libya, Sohag, Menia, Assuit, Qena and Kafr El-Sheikh back to Egypt.
Many Egyptians are fleeing Libya due to the destabilization that took hold of the country after the downfall of the former dictator Muammar Gaddafi. The safety of Egyptian Copts safety was especially at risk after 21 Coptic Egyptians were beheaded on a beach in Sirte by rogue fighters in Libya in February 2015.
“People returning from Libya arrive here (Egypt) with limited or no means of survival and face the challenge of finding employment,” said Muhannad Hadi, WFP Regional Director. “Most returnees are low-skilled labourers, usually men from the economically stressed region of Upper Egypt whose villages of origin have few economic prospects,” Hadi further explains.
The Egyptian Foreign Affairs Minister reports that about 1.6 million Egyptians reside in Libya, many of which are migrant workers.