Manama: Qatar Charity (QC) has launched a 2 million Qatari riyal ($550,000) project for the benefit of Libyan refugees hosted by families in southern Tunisia.

Abdullah Bin Hussain Al Neamah, QC Vice-Chairman, said that over 2,500 Libyan families are being supported by Tunisian families in the cities of Tataouine, Ramada, Ben Guerdan and Medenine.

"The project, named ‘Ekhaá' (brotherhood) aims at helping the Tunisian families, especially those who live in areas bordering Libya, to support a large number of refugees who cross the Libyan-Tunisian border everyday to escape the ongoing war in their country," he said.

"The project also seeks to strengthen ties between people living in Qatar, Tunisia and Libya. The new project is part of the relief campaign QC had launched earlier to help our Libyans brothers who have had fled their country due to the war," he told reporters in Doha.

Despite limited financial resources, many Tunisian families are hosting tens of thousands of Libyan refugees and the initiative will go a long way in helping the Tunisian families, he said.

"We urge Qatari families and residents to support the project through financial contributions," he said, quoted by Qatar Tribune daily.

170,000 Libyan refugees in Tunisia

According to the latest estimate, over 170,000 people Libyan refugees are in Tunisia currently, with the number increasing rapidly.

The project, scheduled to start on May 20, will continue for three months and will provide essential materials like food, blankets and mattresses.