Libya: Medical needs a major concern as number of casualties rises

11 Mar 2011

A non-governmental organization health worker at a transit camp near the Tunisia-Libya border. Credit: OCHA/David Ohana
Hospitals face medical supply shortages as the number of reported casualties rises. Humanitarian actors still lack access to western Libya, where the fighting has been heaviest.

Local doctors are seeing a sharp increase in the number of casualties at hospitals in Ajdabiya and Misrata in northern Libya, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). However, many hospitals are reporting shortages of medical supplies, drugs and specialized medical staff.

“Medical needs are a major concern, particularly as we are receiving reports of hospital closures at a time when people most need medical care,” said Deputy ERC Catherine Bragg during a briefing for Member States on 10 March 2011. She also thanked all countries from the region who have welcomed those fleeing the conflict. “I really count on your support to leave your borders open to receive those fleeing the violence in Libya.”

On 10 March 2011, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya Mr. Rashid Khalikov met officials from the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the League of Arab States in Cairo. He also met with humanitarian partners of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee to discuss collaboration and priorities for the Libyan crisis response.

The International Organization for Migration reports that now over 250,000 people have left Libya since the crisis began, with more than 20,000 migrants, mostly Bangladeshis, stranded at Libyan borders with Tunisia and Egypt since 10 March. Humanitarian actors still lack access to western Libya, where the fighting has been heaviest.

More>> OCHA Situation Report #10 [English - Arabic]  -  ASG Brag's statement

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