Madam Speaker, Canada is greatly concerned by the crisis in Libya and the plight of the hundreds of thousands of people trapped inside Libya or forced to flee to neighbouring Egypt, Tunisia and other border countries.
The situation on the ground in Libya is extremely volatile and its citizens, who are caught in the middle, are in urgent need of food, water, sanitation, protection and medical supplies. I note that although the food situation is stable for now, estimates are that food stocks will only last another four to five weeks with no way of procuring new supplies at present.
Some progress has been made. On May 30, a ship charted by the International Organization for Migration evacuated stranded migrants and war wounded, and delivered food from the World Food Programme as well as medical supplies. Since mid-April the IOM has delivered 2,600 tonnes of humanitarian assistance and rescued 7,000 migrants and war wounded.
Canada was among the first to respond, and we continue to work with experienced partners to support the most pressing needs of the people affected by the violence.
However, the Libyan Red Crescent, which is providing a unique and incredibly valuable service on the ground, is stretched to capacity. Today the Hon. Bev Oda, Minister of International Cooperation, announced $2 million in additional humanitarian assistance to help civilians in Libya.
This most recent announcement will assist the International Committee of the Red Cross, together with the Red Crescent societies of Libya, Tunisia and Egypt to continue efforts to deliver aid to conflict-affected people there. It will also assist the United Nations population fund to protect women and girls from sexual assault, including rape, and provide critical care to these survivors in Libya. The UNFPA aims to assist up to 50,000 women and girls in Libya who are victims of sexual violence.
Of the $2 million in new funding, the Canadian International Development Agency is providing $1.75 million to the International Committee of the Red Cross and $250,000 to the UNFPA, building on Canada's earlier action, which I will outline in a moment.
Overall, Canada has now provided $10.6 million in humanitarian assistance to assist people affected by the crisis. Canada is helping through the Red Cross movement, the International Organization for Migration, the World Food Programme and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, among others.
I remind members that on February 16, a popular uprising began against the four-decade long rule of Moammar Gadhafi. The reaction of the Gadhafi regime was swift and extremely brutal, including military operations against civilians. The conflict between forces for and against the government has since plunged the country into chaos.
The crisis has resulted in the exodus of a large number of people fleeing the violence to surrounding countries. As of the middle of May, over 790,000 people have fled Libya, more than a third of them migrant workers. The United Nations estimates that approximately 1.5 million people are affected. Many migrant workers are stranded at the borders, waiting to be repatriated to their countries of origin.
The international community has since been working to repatriate them back to their countries of origin: Egypt, Tunisia, Niger, Chad, Algeria and Sudan. At the same time, hundreds of thousands more people are still trapped inside Libya.
Canada calls on all parties to the conflict to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and to allow humanitarian workers full, safe and unhindered access to people in need. Canada is especially concerned about recent allegations that sexual violence, including rape, is being used against the civilian population, not just by Libyan government forces but possibly also by armed opposition forces.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs has stated that the most urgent priority right now is for a humanitarian pause in hostilities in the Nafusa mountainous region where it will assess needs and secure the delivery of food and medical supplies.
UN OCHA will also help to evacuate the wounded and third country nationals still in the area. An appeal was issued by the United Nations on April 1. By mid-May, nearly 53% of the international response had been received.
Of CIDA's $8 million earlier contribution, $6,325,000 was in response to the United Nations regional flash appeal and $1,675,000 was provided to the International Red Cross. Let me give a more detailed breakdown.
The International Organization for Migration has received $3,575,000 to support repatriation efforts for migrants displaced by the fighting in Libya and repatriated 144,890 third country nationals. As well, $1,350,000 has gone to the International Committee of the Red Cross to meet emergency medical needs inside Libya and to support Red Cross relief efforts in Tunisia and Egypt, which has reached 780,000 people, including internally displaced people and their host families.
The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has received $250,000 to provide humanitarian relief, including food, non-food items, medical support to displaced migrants in Egypt and Tunisia. The revised appeal will help them to reach 200,000 people.
A total of $1.5 million in emergency food assistance has been provided to displaced and conflict-affected populations in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt.
An additional $1.25 million has been provided to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for shelter, non-food items, water and sanitation for displaced people in neighbouring countries.
Also, the Red Cross Society has received $75,000 to transport humanitarian relief supplies from stockpiles in Dubai to Tunisia.
In addition, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has contributed $630,000 for essential security equipment to enhance the safety of UN humanitarian personnel in this dangerous situation.
The UN Human Rights Council has established an international commission of inquiry to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law in Libya, including allegations of sexual assault and rape. In addition, on February 26, allegations of rape and sexual violence were referred to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court through UN Security Council Resolution 1970 and action is being taken. The ICC is an independent, permanent court with jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of the most serious international crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.
Under the leadership of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN has also established a protection cluster. As the situation evolves, this working group will investigate and address all forms of sexual violence, including sexual exploitation and abuse, trafficking, domestic violence and harmful traditional practices. The group is working closely with non-governmental organizations inside Libya, Tunisia and the border with Libya.
In addition, the International Committee of the Red Cross, working on both sides of the front lines, also provides protection and medical services to women who have suffered sexual violence.
My fellow members, Canada is doing everything it can to monitor the situation in Libya, provide humanitarian support where needed through its partners, and orchestrate a whole of government response to the situation to ensure the safety of the civilian population.