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Libya: Escalation in hostilities increases humanitarian needs

06 Jan 2020

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A family at a camp for internally displaced persons in Tripoli, Libya, 29 January 2019. Credit: OCHA/Giles Clarke

The escalation in hostilities in Libya is increasing humanitarian needs, with 1,600 people newly displaced in and around the capital, Tripoli, in the past month.

Condemning the intensified airstrikes and shelling in and around Tripoli, the Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya, Mr. Yacoub El-Hillo, said that attacks against schools, medical facilities and civilian infrastructure are a grave violation of international humanitarian law and human rights law and deprive the most vulnerable of their rights to education and medical care.

“These acts of violence against civilians, humanitarian workers and civilian infrastructure are deplorable, and I condemn them in the strongest terms”, said Mr. El Hillo. "Unimpeded, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to civilians must be guaranteed, to allow concerned authorities, the United Nations and humanitarian partners to provide life-saving work.”

The latest escalation is affecting the continued provision of life-saving services in Tripoli’s Abu Salim, Ain Zara and Tajoura municipalities, as well as areas adjacent to Mitiga Airport. So far, 13 health facilities in these municipalities have closed due to the fighting. Seven other primary health-care centres are in high-risk areas and may shut down. The Humanitarian Coordinator warns that if violence continues, at least 72,000 medical consultations per month will be stopped in 48 health-care facilities in these areas.

The escalation in fighting has further disrupted access to education. About 220 schools in Tripoli and surrounding areas have closed, interrupting schooling for more than 116,000 students. 

More than 140,000 people have been displaced since the clashes began in April 2019.