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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Libya - Syria - Yemen

13 Jul 2020


Benghazi, Libya, 31 January 2019. Credit: OCHA/Giles Clarke

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 13 July 2020

Libya: Humanitarian update

The UN remains concerned about the military build-up around Sirt and its potential impact on the civilian population.

While active hostilities have ceased, the situation in southern Tripoli remains precarious due to explosive hazards left behind by withdrawing forces.

More than 148 people have been affected by explosive hazards as they sought to return home or to clear the mine-infected areas. Thus far, 52 people have died and 96 have been injured, including civilians and mine clearance operators.

The humanitarian community has reached about 34,000 people, who were affected or displaced by military escalations near Tarhuna and Sirt in June, with food, hygiene kits and other household items, as well as health supplies and health services.

Across Libya, about 430,000 people are now internally displaced.

In addition, Libya continues to report increasing COVID-19 cases, with 1,512 confirmed cases and 40 deaths as of 12 July. The south, which accounts for only 8 per cent of Libya’s population, represents nearly half of all infections and two thirds of all deaths.

Across Libya, the capacity to test, trace and treat people remains extremely low and with services concentrated mainly in Tripoli and Benghazi. Shortages of equipment and supplies, which are particularly acute in the south, exist across the country, compounded by global shortages.


Syria: COVID-19 update

The UN remains concerned about the socioeconomic impact of COVID-19 on millions of people across Syria.

To date, the Syrian Ministry of Health has announced 417 COVID-19 cases, including 136 recoveries and 19 deaths. Six cases have been reported in the north-east, including one death. Additionally, one laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 case in the north-west has been reported.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is leading UN preparedness and mitigation measures across Syria, including in the north-west and north-east. 


Yemen: SAFER tanker

In Yemen, the UN has confirmed that the Houthi de facto authorities have officially communicated to the UN their approval for a UN-led technical assessment and repair mission on board the SAFER oil tanker off the coast of Ras Isa.

The UN is working to ensure the technical team can deploy as soon as possible to assess the condition of the tanker and undertake initial repairs.

The experts will subsequently advise on any remaining measures that would be needed to avoid an oil spill, which would be catastrophic for Yemeni communities, the Red Sea environment, bordering countries and their communities as well as international maritime traffic.