Chicagoans Ship Humanitarian Relief to Libyan-Tunisian Border
(Bridgeview, IL August 9, 2011) Zakat Foundation of America (ZF), a Chicago-based non-profit organization, today shipped a full container of emergency relief items to the Libyan/Tunisian border. The container, filled with clothing, medical supplies, crutches, wheelchairs, strollers, and children’s toys valued at $100,000, is expected to arrive in Tunisia within two to three weeks.
The items in the container will be distributed to refugees in camps at the Tunisian/Libyan border, as well as in towns in which Libyans have found refuge. The aid is part of a ZF campaign begun in March 2011 in response to the political and social unrest in Libya. ZF, which has offices in over 45 countries, was one of the first humanitarian relief organizations working in Libya. In March, a ZF humanitarian ship delivered food, water, and medical care to the besieged Libyan city of Misrata.
Tens of thousands of Libyans have fled the violence in their native country for safety in Tunisia, leaving behind their wealth, identification, clothes, shelter, and food. Halil Demir, Executive Director of ZF, said the local community’s response “has been very positive. Volunteers have come to donate generously and load our container. Today, we had a dozen volunteers that were motivated and very passionate about helping us in Libya.”
The shipment of humanitarian aid is a part of a comprehensive ZF campaign to ease the suffering of the people of Libya. ZF has set up camps along the Tunisian border to provide temporary housing, food, and medicine to those fleeing conflict. Also, ZF implemented a Refugee Rescue Program, in partnership with UNHCR and International Organization for Migration, to return refugees who fled Libya to their countries of origins, most notably to Chad. ZF will continue to provide humanitarian relief to the Libyan people and other countries in the Middle East.