LIBYA: UN continues to respond to urgent humanitarian needs

25 May, 2011
Third Country Nationals (TCN), most of whom are from Niger, prepare to board the IOM-chartered ship, Red Star I, in Misrata on April 27, 2011. It is estimated that 6,000-10,000 TCNs have been stuck in Misrata as fighting between Ghaddafi forces and revolutionaries raged on. Credit: IOM/Nicole Tung
Third Country Nationals (TCN), most of whom are from Niger, prepare to board the IOM-chartered ship, Red Star I, in Misrata on April 27, 2011. It is estimated that 6,000-10,000 TCNs have been stuck in Misrata as fighting between Ghaddafi forces and revolutionaries raged on. Credit: IOM/Nicole Tung

The Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya, Panos Moumtzis and a team, including representatives from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the World Health Organization (WHO) and UN Department of Safety and Security, travelled to Tripoli from 20 - 22 May to meet with the Libyan Prime Minister, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and other senior officials. They also met with diplomatic missions, and discuss the return of an international United Nations humanitarian team in Tripoli.

The Government of Libya expressed deep concern about the lack of fuel and the need for food stocks and medical supplies, which are running low. Officials expressed regret for the attack against United Nations property last 2 May and called on the UN to continue responding to the most urgent humanitarian needs of all Libyans.

On 23 May, IOM evacuated 726 third country nationals (TCNs) and 56 war-wounded by ship from Misrata. Over 300 metric tons of humanitarian aid was also delivered, including a field hospital, three ambulances and oxygen cylinders.

According to reports by humanitarian partners and the media, shelling in Misrata is now heard less frequently and further away from the city centre. Electricity is available to around two-thirds of the city. There are signs that the situation in Misrata continues to improve. However, the presence of unexploded ordnances (UXO) remains a serious concern.

The situation in the western Nafusa Mountains region remains worrying. Fighting near Dhibat/Wazin and in Zintan has continued over the past few days. The most affected areas are around Yafran, Al Qaala and Kekla, where supply routes have been cut for a long period of time, affecting an estimated at 45,000 people. A humanitarian pause is needed to provide respite for the civilians who live in the region, and to permit a more comprehensive response to civilians in need.

The humanitarian response is also focusing on children's needs. At Choucha Camp, at the Tunisian border with Libya, 150 students are enrolled in school. In Benghazi, between 250 and 300 children are benefiting from a number of activities in schools and child-friendly spaces. Activities with community volunteers continue in seven schools, and include IDP children from Ajdabiya and Misrata. The Education Council is planning to re-open 60 schools (50 public, 10 private) as a pilot project.  An assessment of children’s educational needs is planned for the Nafusa Mountains.

More>> OCHA Situation Report #39

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