Members of an international group tasked to coordinate the international response to the political crisis in Libya have announced new commitments to beef up humanitarian operations in the country and support anti-government protesters there.
The Libya Contact Group held their third meeting in Abu Dhabi on Thursday (June 9). The group first met in the United Kingdom, where it was formally established, and for a second time in Italy, where its members agreed to create a funding mechanism that will support humanitarian action and reconstruction in the embattled African country.
The mechanism was formally established in Abu Dhabi, where members of the contact group pledged a total of more than $1 billion worth of aid for the Libyan opposition group, the Transitional National Council. Most of the pledges were backed by frozen overseas assets of the Libyan government, according to The New York Times.
The pledges announced in Abu Dhabi include $580 million from Italy to help the Transitional National Council pay for its expenses. Maurizio Massarik, a spokesperson for Italy’s foreign affairs ministry, stressed that his country’s assistance does not include funds for weapons, CNN reports.
France, Australia and Turkey, among other countries, also announced financial commitments that will be coursed through the new mechanism.
Meantime, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said her country is contributing an additional $26.5 million to the international humanitarian response in Libya, bringing total U.S. contributions to more than $80 million. The additional funds will be used to support operations of the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organization for Migration and the World Health Organization.
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