Britain funds humanitarian aid for Libya

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Britain has donated £3 million ($4.9 million, 3.4 million euros) to the Red Cross to spend on urgent humanitarian aid in Libya, the Department for International Development (DfID) said Saturday.

"The aid package will help with basic services, particularly providing food for just under 700,000 people but also providing very strong medical support for 5,000 who have been wounded," said International Development Minister Andrew Mitchell.

"We've seen the most terrible scenes from Tripoli hospitals and we are moving directly now to assist the International Red Cross in tackling that," he told BBC television.

A DfID spokesman told AFP the money would be used to buy medicine and food and send teams to conflict areas in need across Libya as rebels battle to free the country from the grip of leader Moamer Kadhafi.

"They decide how to use it on a day-to-day basis but a lot of the focus is going to be on Tripoli at the moment," he said.

With fighting continuing in a conflict that the rebels' chief says has killed more than 20,000 people, the horror of the situation was highlighted on Friday at a hospital in Tripoli.

Eighty putrefying corpses were found -- apparently patients who had died for lack of treatment because doctors had fled for fear of the pro-Kadhafi snipers in the neighbourhood.

© 2011 AFP

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