Spain helps in Benghazi airlifts, sends medical equipment
"It is the humanitarian situation that worries us the most," says Foreign Ministry
Spain on Thursday sent humanitarian aid to the injured people of Benghazi, Libya, and began helping in the airlift of refugees gathered on the Tunisian-Libyan border.
A plane filled with supplies, including first aid equipment and medicine, was sent to Benghazi, which is controlled by rebels trying to topple Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi. Another one arrived at 5pm in Djerba, Tunisia and will help evacuate refugees to Egypt.
Officials at the Spanish Agency for International Development (Aecid) said they hope to open a temporary office in Benghazi. An Aecid team is also going to Benghazi to evaluate the situation along with the UN High Commission for Refugees.
"It is the humanitarian situation that worries us the most," said Soraya Rodríguez, secretary of state for international cooperation.
One plane took off from the Torrejón airbase (Madrid) on Thursday morning while the second one is expected to arrive on Friday and will continue to make round trips, said Foreign Minister Trinidad Jiménez, who is coordinating the airlifts.
"We are going to continue to send aid because the government in Tunis at this moment cannot attend to the entire situation," she said.
France and Britain have also announced plans to begin similar airlifts.