In a flash they have lost job, home, personal property, bank accounts, the earnings of years of work. Ssuch are the dramatic consequences of the Libyan crisis for over 21,000 foreign workers that settled in Libya, and from where they have been forced to flee because of the violent and uncertain climate that has prevailed for the past three weeks.
“The socio-economic repercussions are very serious on two levels, not just for the workers but also for their families at home, who relied on their remittances,” said Roberto Pitea, a representative of the International Migration Organization (IMO) in Cairo, noting that Libya until very recently was one of the most popular destinations for north-African migrants. According to the IMO, some 65,000 migrant workers have been affected by the Libyan crisis; many come from Bangladesh or China, and many others from Egypt or Tunisia, others from the Horn of Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa from such countries as Angola or the DR Congo.
The IMO offers fleeing migrants a type of consular assistance, helping them establish contact with their respective embassies and facilitating access to ID documents for their travel. The Imo also offers logistical support to airports. So far 3500 migrants are awaiting to be evacuated at the Sallum border area between Libya and Egypt, while 11,000 are in the same situation at the Libyan-Tunisian border.