UN seeks $166 mn in Libya humanitarian aid

TUNIS : The United Nations called on the international community Wednesday to provide $165.6 million in aid to Libya, where nearly half the population has been affected by violence and needs protection.

“We call on the world to extend its hand to suffering people in Libya,” Ali al-Zaatari, the world body’s humanitarian coordinator for the North African country, told a news conference in the Tunisian capital.

“We need $165.6 million in 2016. If we don’t get that amount, which is modest in comparison with what is spent on armaments, for example, then we can expect the humanitarian crisis to worsen.”

Zaatari also called for a humanitarian ceasefire and for opening up corridors so that aid can reach those in need.

Syed Jaffar Hussain, the World Health Organization’s representative in Libya, said the money was needed for basics, such as drinking water, sewers, vaccinations and other medicines, as well as maternity wards.

In October, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said armed conflict and political instability had impacted more than three million Libyans.

In a country of 6.3 million, “2.44 million people are in need of protection and some form of humanitarian assistance”.

The needy included people forced to flee their homes and those living in conflict-hit areas, as well as refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants, OCHA said.

Hussain said 1.3 million Libyans, mostly women and children, are suffering from malnutrition.



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