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March 1, 2011



The world is backing away from the idea of a no-fly zone over Libya.  U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron is backtracking from a previous endorsement of the idea and the general sentiment is a desire not to get mixed up militarily in Libyan affairs.  Voices from the US are also expressing a more cautious stance, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telling the House foreign affairs committee that a military endeavour would be counterproductive.  The US is particularly reticent because a no-fly zone would require Libyan air defence systems to be bombed first.  Despite the fact that Gaddhafi’s troops are meagre in comparison with Britain or the US, surface-to-air missiles could still take down foreign aircraft.  Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov was dismissive of the notion of a no-fly zone, calling such an action “superfluous” and encouraging the world to focus on sanctions.  

Read more at the Guardian, AFP and the Daily Mail.

Above: In Benghazi, Libyan’s fly their original flag and hold up a sign rejecting the idea of foreign intervention.  Photo Credit: Tiago Petinga/EPA

As much as I hate to say this, it’s absolutely more realistic to cut off Gaddafi’s government from the inside out, not the top down. Showing them the world doesn’t tolerate violence with violence?

And let’s face it, the crazy dictator doesn’t care if we have a global “no fly” zone. As far as he’s concerned, he’s on a different world completely. So it would, ultimately, come down to violence.

Well… I don’t even know what they’re planning on doing instead of the No-Fly-Zone, which some Libyans did want (at least based on the Libyan tweets I’ve been reading for nearly a week). But now it sounds like they’d get shot at and bombed from the air no matter what, and that has happened, so…

It seems like all they can do is send medical aid & food, and nothing else. I know the Libyans don’t want any foreign intervention mainly because they don’t want foreign soldiers to come into their country. They’re afraid that what happened in Iraq & Afghanistan will happen to their country too if foreign soldiers come in. (I don’t know all the details, but I’m sure a Google search would give you some idea.) They want an overthrow of the current government to be of their doing only.

Still… ugh. It’s so frustrating to only be able to watch what’s happening and not do anything more aside from charity donations/aid. I don’t want to see this continue, but all I can do is blog about it & make people aware, then get them to donate.

NOT a definitive list. This is a quick compilation of charities. Not all of these charities are working from inside Libya, and some of them are simply working as intermediaries. My suggestion is to research each charity very carefully before donating. Organizations working in the region are, as always, preferable.  Feel free to drop more links in my ask box.  I’ve placed an asterisk (*) next to organizations that I am either personally involved in or can personally vouch for.  Islamic Relief* – Make sure the drop-down menu reads, “Libya Humanitarian Relief”
An Islamic Relief assessment team has been dispatched to Libya, where the required intervention will be determined. Initial preparations have been made to provide emergency shelter and food for people fleeing the violence. Islamic Relief is also providing medical aid to the injured. The humanitarian team continues its efforts at Libya’s Eastern border, where a convoy of baby milk and medical supplies is on the way to the coastal city of Benghazi – Libya’s second biggest city. The convoy includes 10 volunteer doctors from Egypt who will be working in the Libyan hospitals in liaison with the Libyan Medical Syndicate.  Preparations are also being made on the Tunisian border in response to the large influx of refugees to Tunisia.
Please Note: Islamic Relief is a Four-Star charity on Charity Navigator, the highest rating a charity could receive.  If you’re in Southern California, you can also attend this fundraising banquetZakat Foundation*
 We have dispatched two teams to the region. While writing this appeal, one of our teams entered Libya from Egypt. The second team is now at the Libyan-Tunisian boarder helping refugees while waiting for permission to enter Libya. Dear brother and sister, there are three types of people; the first group makes things happen, the second group watches as things happen, and third group of people look and ask what happened. Today, history is in the making. Please be part of those who make things happen. 
Note: Zakat Foundation has no drop-down menu to specify which country in the Middle East you’d like to donate to. A rep recommended emailing the organization right after making your donation and letting them know you intend it to be used in Libya.  Libya Relief Fund*
All proceeds will provide medical assistance, medical supplies and all other logistical efforts (ex: transportation)
Muslims Without Borders*
Muslims Without Borders’ medical convoy arrived at the Libyan border on Wednesday, February 23rd with a shipment of emergency medical supplies. The shipment was delivered to to Al Jalaa Hospital in Bengazi on February 24th. MWB was the first American NGO to operate inside Libya.  MWB’s initial assessment of the situation in the eastern cities of Tobruk, Darnah and Benghazi shows no imminent disaster pending. Hospitals are prepared to handle medical needs for the short term, but are still lacking basic medical equipment and medication. MWB is preparing a second convoy with general medical equipment and medication. MWB is also preparing an advance team for the western region on the Tunisian border where the situation may change to a sudden emergency due to the fluid situation in the capital Tripoli. Please continue to support MWB’s aid and logistics network which is now also assisting other international relief agencies sending aid into Libya.
Doctors Without Borders/MSF
The first Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) team reached Benghazi on Friday evening, February 25. The team visited three medical facilities: Al Jalaa Hospital, Al Hawari Hospital, and Benghazi Medical Centre (BMC). Each of them is well equipped and have managed to deal with the numbers of wounded people and medical needs. However, they are facing some shortages of medical material and drugs—dressings for wounds, sutures, anesthesia drugs, and external fixators.  MSF will provide the needed materials to the BMC. They will also train the local teams in the management of mass casualties so they will be prepared in case of new clashes.
The UN Refugee Agency
UNHCR has deployed teams to key border points between Libya and Tunisia to provide tents and other relief items to up to 10,000 people fleeing the civil unrest and political violence currently taking place in Libya. Already an estimated 22,000 people have crossed into Tunisia since fighting broke out. UNHCR is also working with the Egyptian government helping those escaping into Egypt. Your much-needed donation through UNHCR will help provide emergency relief items to the thousands of North Africans fleeing the persecution and killing in Libya right now.
British Red Cross
Violent clashes in Libya have left hundreds of people dead and thousands injured. Tens of thousands of people are also leaving their homes and crossing to Tunisia and Egypt. The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has been on the ground helping people since the beginning of the unrest, but more support will be needed as the crisis unfolds. Money raised from the appeal will be used to support the Movement’s response to the crisis, including healthcare and medical supplies for people affected by the unrest in Libya and food, shelter and first aid for people crossing into Tunisia and Egypt. A medical team, including two surgeons, from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) arrived in Benghazi on Sunday. Truckloads of Red Cross medical supplies are due to arrive in Libya from Cairo in the next few days. Since the outbreaks of violence in Benghazi began, the Libyan Red Crescent has been responding with basic medical care and transporting injured people to hospital. It has also provided blood units to the town’s four hospitals. The Egyptian and Tunisian Red Crescents are working at their countries’ borders with Libya, providing food and basic medical care to people crossing from Libya.
Human Concern International
HCI is responding to the current Tragic events where thousands of people are injured and dead by working to send medical and financial help to the injured and their families. They need all the help and support that they can get. Please Donate generously.
Helping Hand – Make sure the drop-down menu reads “Libya Relief Fund”
Time of need; Libya and countries like EgyptTunisia and Algeria need our help. Please come forward and support Helping Hand for Relief and Development in carrying out their efforts to improve the lives of many by providing emergency relief to those whose freedom has come at a very heavy cost.
Life USA
The violence in Libya is getting worse each day.  At least 2,000 people are feared dead, and thousands more have been wounded.  In response to this crisis, Life for Relief and Development is providing emergency humanitarian assistance to the people of Libya through Egypt’s borders. Life is planning medicines, medical supplies, baby formula, and other essentials to the Libyan-Egyptian border.  Much more is still needed. Life is calling on its donors to quickly respond to this appeal and donate what they can to help the innocent people of Libya in their time of desperate need.
Save the Children
Save the Children has dispatched an emergency response team to the Egyptian/Libya border to prepare to respond to a potential humanitarian crisis both within Libya and across the border into Egypt. The team will arrive at the border tomorrow. “The country’s escalating instability could affect children the most,” said Geof Giacomini, Save the Children US’s country director in Egypt. “We know that tens of thousands have already crossed the border, and we are now hearing reports of shortages of medical supplies and other essential items inside Libya itself. We want to make sure that children caught up in this crisis are cared for and protected.” The global humanitarian aid organization is warning that if the violence continues, the effect on children could be severe. Displaced children face serious risks, including being separated from their families, exploited for labor, and dropping out of school. They are also vulnerable to emotional distress from being uprooted from their homes, schools and all that is familiar to them.
Note: There’s no way to specify where your money will be going, so I suggest contacting the organization directly.  IMANA
While Egypt is trying to recover next door is Libya, engulfed in a political crisis of epic proportions. The violence is resulting in a humanitarian crisis like no other. Once again IMANA Relief is making a difference. In Egypt, we have begun collaborating with the Federation of Islamic Medical Associations (FIMA) in providing urgent medical care and food distribution to those in need.  While in Libya, both FIMA and IMANA are working together in setting up field hospitals along the Libyan-Egyptian border to begin treating the thousands who have already fled the violence. The time to help is now.  IMANA once again is “Making a Difference”.   You can too.
Note: Imana has a joint Egypt/Libya relief fund. Make sure the drop-down menu indicates where your donation should go – it should read: “Egypt/Libya Relief Donation” 
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