Leaders discuss Libya’s political future and humanitarian situation in the country

29 March, 2011
Tunisia: new arrivals in the transit camp of Choucha Ras Djir, situated eight Km from the Tunisian border with Libya. People continue fleeing violence in Libya. Credit: UNHCR/A.Duclos
Tunisia: new arrivals in the transit camp of Choucha Ras Djir, situated eight Km from the Tunisian border with Libya. People continue fleeing violence in Libya. Credit: UNHCR/A.Duclos

At the London Conference on Libya today leaders debated Libya’s political future and measures to address humanitarian concerns in the country. Coalition airstrikes persist as hostilities continue, particularly in western Libya. Additional provision of aid continues inside Libya, responding to needs through a gradual ramping up by a limited but slowly growing number of organizations. Security concerns continue to hinder widespread access by humanitarian and international partners. Over 389, 767 people have left Libya since the start of the fighting into neighboring countries.

Meanwhile there are continued reports of displacement of populations inside Libya. WFP and the Libyan Red Crescent are distributing food to some 7,000 (IDPs) in six locations in the south of Benghazi and the north of Ajdabiya.

Yesterday 2,050 people crossed into Egypt at Saloum, over half of whom are Libyans; around 3,000 people are currently stranded at the border crossing, most of whom are Chadian. In Tunisia about 6,150 people remain stranded, the majority are sub-Saharan Africans. There are also 1,000 Bangladeshis in need of evacuation assistance. IOM has already repatriated over 20,000 Bangladeshis since the start of the crisis.

Concerns related to the supply-chain of food in Libya have been expressed by WFP. It is unclear as to whether food stocks are being replenished and unclear as to whether financial means and logistical mechanisms to replenish stocks will continuously be available under opposition and/or Qaddafi government rule. It is essential to ensure that the public food distribution system continues to be implemented and stocks replenished, otherwise the number of people in need of food assistance may increase dramatically.

On 25 March the African Union also held a conference on Libya, wherein Member States discussed
the impact of the crisis on neighboring countries, with the recent influx of nationals and or displaced
populations who have fled Libya in recent weeks.

More>> OCHA Situation Report #18

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