CERF allocates $1.4 million in response to the humanitarian situation in Libya
21 April 2011: In response to the humanitarian situation following recent protests and violent conflict in the country, CERF has allocated some $1.4 million for humanitarian response in Libya.
Some $400,000 will go to the World Food Programme (WFP) to coordinate and implement life-saving telecommunications services that will aid the humanitarian community in its delivery of aid to the affected population. WFP will also use some $1 million to support the United Nations Humanitarian Air Services (UNHAS) to provide safe and reliable evacuation service.
The Libyan population began protesting against Colonel Muammar Gadaffi on 17 February following the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. Severe military retaliations against the anti-government protests have taken place since and, as a result, Libya is currently experiencing an unprecedented level of turmoil and violence. The humanitarian situation within Libya is tense and likely to deteriorate further.
Fighting in Misrata has delayed ships from docking, and shelling continues to cause widespread destruction in the port area. In the west, there have been reports of violent fighting and urgent food requirements in the Nafusa Mountains region. These areas are difficult to access, both for humanitarian actors who need to get in and civilians who need to get out. Estimates suggest that at least 30,000 refugees from the Nafusa Mountains have crossed into southern Tunisia, where reports indicate low levels of basic supplies, local resources and health structures for the influx of refugees.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, over 630,000 people have now fled Libya since the beginning of the conflict. Refugees have entered Tunisia, Egypt, Niger and Algeria. However, as of 26 April over 13,000 people remained at transit points and camps in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia awaiting evacuation. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is concerned that people could be caught in cross-fire as government and opposition forces battle for control in border areas.