TUNISIA - We left Tunis in the early hours of the morning for the short flight to the town of Zarzis, on the Mediterranean Sea. In the summer months, Zarzis is a bustling tourist resort town. Today, it is playing host to myriad government and non-government organizations that have quickly mobilized to deal with the huge influx of people fleeing Libya just an hour’s drive away.
Upon our arrival, we drove to the Shousha transit camp near Tunisia’s Ras Edjir Border Crossing. Tens of thousands of people have passed through the camp. Today, it was playing host to about 17 000. The logistics of coping with such a large, fluctuating community are staggering. We arrived just as those in the camp stood waiting for food in queues that stretched as far as I could see. Talking to officials with the World Food Programme, we are told that in order to feed 17 000 people in a reasonable amount of time, they must serve an average of 50 people per minute.