LIBYA: Fighting hampers access to basic supplies in Misrata

27 April, 2011
In Libya, 19-year-old Khalid, a student from Ajdabiya, has been forced to leave his home due to shelling and fighting in the town. He and his family have been living in tents in the arid scrubland lining the Tobruk-Ajdabia highway. Hundreds of people line up the desert road. Khalid explained: "We all need water, tents and food. It's very cold here at night." Credit: UNHCR/Phil Moore
In Libya, 19-year-old Khalid, a student from Ajdabiya, has been forced to leave his home due to shelling and fighting in the town. He and his family have been living in tents in the arid scrubland lining the Tobruk-Ajdabia highway. Hundreds of people line up the desert road. Khalid explained: "We all need water, tents and food. It's very cold here at night." Credit: UNHCR/Phil Moore

From 22 to 24 April 2011, media reports indicate that 60 people were killed in the fighting in Misrata that has intensified despite Government forces stating that they would withdraw momentarily to allow for negotiations between tribal leaders and opposition forces. Over 10,000 people have been evacuated from the city, and as of 26 April over 13,000 people remained at transit points and camps in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia.

On 25 April, there was heavy shelling in the Misrata port area while a World Food Programme (WFP) ship was still unloading supplies. According to media reports, three residential districts were hit by over a dozen rockets and two schools were destroyed. Although there are sufficient stocks of basic supplies in Misrata, they are not always accessible due to the violence. There is also fear that given the conflict in western Libya, the overall piped water and sanitation systems are vulnerable to collapse should they be hit.

Fighting also continues in the Nafusa Mountain region, where at least 11 people have been killed between 24 and 26 April. NATO fired on targets in the area for the first time on 25 April. 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.

The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) will provide some $1.5 million to support two WFP projects in Libya that will provide United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) flights and install emergency telecommunications services. The humanitarian response thus far also includes the Turkish Red Crescent’s establishment of a bakery to distribute 100,000 loaves of bread to IDPs in Benghazi and WFP distribution of food for some 200,000 beneficiaries in eastern Libya.

According to OCHA's Financial Tracking Service, the $310 million Flash Appeal for the Libyan Crisis is currently only 42 per cent funded.

More>> OCHA Situation Report #30

 

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