By Nihal Zaroug.
Tripoli, 19 July 2013:
Since the start of the holy month, the Libyan Red Crescent (LRC) has been packing food . . .[restrict]items into “Ramadan baskets” for needy and displaced families in Tripoli. The initiative, a joint effort between LRC’s Tripoli branch and the International Committee of the Red Cross, will continue throughout Ramadan.
Over 70 volunteers have been working extended hours, filling bags with staple foodstuffs, including cooking oil, flour, rice, pasta, canned tomatoes and drinks. A shipment of dates from the UAE’s Red Crescent is also being shared out between the baskets, along with household essentials, such as detergent. Most of the supplies were purchased with LRC funds but some items have been donated by manufacturers, said head of LRC Tripoli’s media office, Malek Mirsit.
Since the first day of Ramadan, Mirsit told the Libya Herald, over 1,000 baskets have been handed out to families in the capital. The main collection point is the LCR’s storage facility in Qashir Ben Gashir and, with the cooperation of the local council, registered families can pick up supplies on a daily basis. The LRC has also given baskets to civil society organisation (CSOs), for direct delivery.
“It is not only Libyan families who are receiving the assistance,” said Mirsit, “but also Syrian refugees.”
If it weren’t for the power cuts, LRC would be working continuously to assist those in need, he said. To get parcels ready before any electricity outages, volunteer team are now starting work at 4 am.
As well as the Ramadan baskets, the LRC is providing dates, halwa, milk and water for Iftar, at mosques across the capital. “Today we will be distributing Iftar staples to mosques in Tajoura and will continue doing so at other Tripoli area mosques throughout Ramadan,” said Mirsit.
In Zawiya, local boys scouts have been running a similar project, providing Iftar and main meals throughout the holy month, as well as light snacks to those on the road. In a similar move, young people, businesses and CSOs from the town of Waddan, in the district of Jufra, have set up a Ramadan tent on the central Fezzan Road, providing meals to travellers to the area. [/restrict]