LIBYA: Fighting causes shortages of essential supplies, electricity and water

11 April, 2011
A migrant worker from Kumasi in Ghana at the Libya-Tunisia border. Credit: IRIN/Kate Thomas
A migrant worker from Kumasi in Ghana at the Libya-Tunisia border. Credit: IRIN/Kate Thomas

Continued violence in Misrata and renewed hostilities in Ajdabiya during the reporting period posed risks to the lives of women, children and other civilians as the crisis in Libya continues for a seventh week. In Misrata, humanitarian actors have been able to evacuate the wounded and deliver medical supplies, food, and non-food items (NFIs) during this reporting period. The World Food Programme (WFP)-chartered ship completed the delivery of all the aid aboard on 8 April. On 9 April an International Committee of the Red Cross ICRC) ship docked in Misrata, delivering enough emergency medical supplies for 300 people.

Despite the delivery of aid, sustained fighting continues to result in shortages of essential supplies, electricity and water. OCHA received reports from Misrata that there are water shortages and local communities are relying on untreated well water for use in households and health facilities.

A further problem affecting the medical sector concerns personnel. Foreign doctors and nurses who are stranded inside Libya wish to leave but are currently unable to due to the fighting. Many have continued working and report high levels of exhaustion. A large proportion has said they will leave once they get the opportunity, resulting in an even greater gap in medical personnel.

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an immediate cessation of the indiscriminate use of military force against the civilian population and to ensure full access for humanitarian assistance. However, fighting has continued. The African Union will, through a group of African leaders, visit the country this weekend to meet with government officials in Tripoli and conduct talks with the Transitional National Council in Benghazi.

To date, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR) report that more than 489,000 people have left Libya, the majority crossing into either Tunisia or Egypt. The latest figures report between 11,681 and 12,081 people stranded at camps and transit points in Tunisia, Egypt, Niger and Algeria.

More>> OCHA Situation Report #23

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