LIBYA: Update on the humanitarian situation and response

11 May, 2011
International Medical Corps staff assisting in the evacuation of injured people from Misrata. Credit: International Medical Corps
International Medical Corps staff assisting in the evacuation of injured people from Misrata. Credit: International Medical Corps

People in Libya's western Nafusa Mountain region continue to be caught up in the conflict. In Nalut and Zintan, ongoing fighting continues to hinder delivery of assistance to those in need, and half of the population of these towns have reportedly left. On 7 May, media reports indicated that fighting in Zintan had left nine people dead and fifty injured. The humanitarian community is particularly concerned about lack of food and shortage of medical supplies and staff.

WFP and the Libyan Red Crescent have jointly mobilized 60 metric tons of wheat flour to be distributed in Zintan. WFP reports that food supplies could run out within six to eight weeks in Libya unless plans are put in place to avoid a full-scale crisis. In Benghazi, humanitarian partners have made progress on coordinating the delivery of food aid, including agreement on food package contents.

Heavy fighting continues in Misrata around the port, with eight fuel tanks reportedly destroyed in an attack on 7 May, by Government forces, raising concerns of shortages, as they were the city's only fuel storage units. Logistics agencies report delays in reaching Misrata due to the fighting while increased shipping insurance costs are making it difficult for humanitarian organizations to find and afford vessels to deliver aid.

Along the Tunisian border, fighting in Wazin has spilled over into Dhibat. While a number of Libyans have crossed into Tunisia through the Wazin/Dhibat border point, many more are entering the country via informal routes, making the overall number of population movements in Tunisia difficult to calculate. At least 50,000 Libyans are known to date to be displaced within host communities in southern Tunisia.

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