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Libya: Violence displaces thousands of people and blocks emergency services

08 Apr 2019

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The escalation of violence in and around Tripoli has caused the displacement of some 3,400 people fleeing from fighting, blocked emergency services from reaching casualties and civilians, and damaged electricity lines. Clashes with heavy weapons are affecting residential areas, and an unknown additional number of civilians are unable to flee these locations. 

In a statement today, the Humanitarian Coordinator, Maria Valle Ribeiro, has reminded all parties of their obligations under International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law to ensure the safety of all civilians and civilian infrastructure, and the UN continues to call for a temporary humanitarian truce to allow for the provision of emergency services and the voluntary passage of civilians, including those wounded, from areas of conflict.

In some combat areas, civilians are unable to leave due to the intensity of fighting. There is a particular concern for the safety and security of some 1,300 refugees and migrants who are currently in close proximity to conflict- affected areas in the Qasr Ben Gashir Detention Center and the Ain Zara Detention Center.

Humanitarian partners have stocks in place in multiple locations throughout Tripoli to respond to a possible upsurge in humanitarian needs. This includes food stocks to support an additional 80,000 people for a period of two weeks; emergency medical supplies and trauma kits to treat up to 210,000 individuals and 900 injuries for three months; this is in addition to recent distributions of emergency medical supplies to health facilities that can treat up to 1,100,000 individuals and 2,200 injuries; shelter and non-food items assistance to support 15,000 families across Libya.

Since 2011, persisting political instability, insecurity and waves of conflict have led to the breakdown of rule of law, a deteriorating public sector and a dysfunctional economy. At least 823,000 people in Libya, including 248,000 children, are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

Humanitarian partners have requested US$202 million to be able to meet the most basic needs of 552,000 of the most vulnerable people this year – Libyans as well as refugees and migrants. Without the necessary funds, humanitarian partners simply won’t be able to sustain their activities, which are meant to save lives and restore people’s dignity. To date, the appeal is only 6 per cent funded.