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Libya: US$10.2M urgently needed as humanitarian partners strive to reach civilians trapped in conflict

18 Apr 2019

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Clashes between the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA) erupted south of Tripoli on 4 April, immediately impacting the civilian population in and around Tripoli. Armed clashes have been particularly heavy in the southern districts of Tripoli, with use of heavy artillery and airstrikes on both sides.

Humanitarian partners are urgently seeking US$10.2 million to be able to meet the most pressing needs of 100,000 people. Funding is especially needed to provide basic health services, protection, clean water, emergency food and shelter to civilians trapped in the cross-fire and forced to flee their homes.

To date, 79 casualties have been confirmed while more than 27,000 people have been displaced by violence in just two weeks. Thousands more remain trapped by ongoing fighting in their neighborhoods, and the numebrs are growing daily. Most families are staying with relatives and in private accommodation in the different neighborhoods and suburbs of Tripoli, as well as along the coastal line in Western Libya and the Nafusa mountains. Over 2,000 newly displaced persons have sought shelter in collective centers designated by the local authorities.

3,900 refugees and migrants in detention centers are also at high risk and trapped in conflict areas. Five detention centres are located in areas already engulfed by fighting. Six more are in close proximity to clash areas. There have been reports of guards abandoning detention centres with people remaining trapped inside. Already among the most vulnerable populations in Libya, these refugees and migrants now face the risk of becoming caught in cross-fire, or left without life-sustaining supplies, including food and water.

The Humanitarian Response Plan launched in February had requested $202 million to meet the most basic needs of 552,000 of the most vulnerable people, both Libyans and migrants. The escalation over the past two weeks have exacerbated the already dire living conditions of thousands of civilians already struggling with seven years of instability and insecurity. Yet, the Response Plan remains a mere 6.5 per cent funded.

Yesterday, UN Humanitarian Chief announced a CERF allocation of $2 million to fill a critical funding gap. "The CERF funds will help hospitals and health clinics attending to the injured immediately get the emergency medical supplies they need, including surgical and trauma kits", Mr Lowcock said. "The money will also allow aid agencies to provide food and relief items to displaced people and support the safe relocation of vulnerable migrants and refugees from detention centres in areas where airstrikes have been reported.”

Howver, as humanitarian needs are expected to escalate significantly and an estimated 1.5 million people may be impacted by ongoing hostilities, funding is urgently needed to ensure that humanitarian partners can sustain their operations in the coming months.