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LIBYA: Evacuations continue amidst fighting

30 Apr 2011


A family waiting for a daily meal ration at the Egyptian border town of Sallum, having fled escalating conflict in Libya. Many of those still stranded at the border are asylum-seekers who have fled their own country due to instability. Credit: UNHCR/Phil Moore
The International Organization for Migration delivered humanitarian aid and evacuated 1,000 people from Misrata on 27 April 2011 as fighting continues.

Fighting in Misrata on 26 and 27 April 2011 delayed ships carrying humanitarian aid from docking. Although shelling continues to cause widespread destruction in the port area, humanitarian aid was still delivered and around 1,000 people were evacuated by an International Organization for Migration (IOM)-chartered ship on 27 April arriving in Benghazi the next morning.

Over 11,000 people have been evacuated from Misrata thus far, and the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service is scheduled to begin evacuation service on 1 May with initial routing of Malta-Cairo-Benghazi-Malta twice a week on Sunday and Thursday.

On 27 April, a United Nations International Commission of Inquiry fact-finding mission arrived in Tripoli to look into reports of human rights violations by the Libyan government, including civilian casualties and indiscriminate bombing in civilian areas. Over 630,000 people have now fled Libya since the beginning of the conflict, with about 18,500 Libyans crossing into Tunisia from the Nafusa Mountains region where fighting continues.

As part of the humanitarian response, the World Food Programme has distributed food in the east, reaching some 200,000 beneficiaries. However, there is still concern about access to populations in the Nafusa Mountains region in light of anecdotal reports of urgent food requirements in the west. International Medical Corps delivered medical supplies to Nalut Hospital in western Libya on 26 April. Three rockets were fired nearby in neighbouring Zintan causing damage, but due to the security situation casualties have been unable to access medical services outside Zintan.

United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya Panos Moumtzis arrived in Cairo on 26 April and will visit the Tunisia-Libya border on 29 April and Tripoli on 30 April. The humanitarian community is seeking access to Misrata and Zintan for independent humanitarian assessments.

According to the Financial Tracking Services, the $310 million Flash Appeal for the Libyan Crisis is only funded at about 42.6 per cent.

More>> OCHA Situation Report #31