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Published: 12:53, September 28, 2023
UN calls for humanitarian aid to flood-hit east Libya
By Xinhua
Published:12:53, September 28, 2023 By Xinhua

Rescuers recover the body of a victim killed during flooding in Derna, Libya, Sept 15, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)

TRIPOLI - The United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) on Wednesday highlighted the humanitarian needs in eastern Libya hit by recent deadly floods.

"Humanitarian needs remain critical. UN agencies found that half of the 78 health facilities assessed in Derna and parts of Al-Jabar Al-Akhdar are either partially or totally non-functioning. Rushing floodwaters also destroyed water networks and sewage pipes," UNSMIL said in a statement.

ALSO READ: China's urgent relief supplies arrive in flood-hit Libya

Many families displaced by the floods are sheltering in schools as local authorities work hard to find solutions for their housing needs, the statement said, stressing the need to urgently address the situation of displaced people staying in schools before the start of the school year.

What people in Derna and surrounding areas have experienced is tragic beyond words. All the displaced families I met said they have one wish: For their lives to go back to normal. 

Georgette Gagnon, UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Libya

"UN agencies and partners, who were on the ground in the affected areas within hours of the floods, are providing safe drinking water, medical supplies, hygiene kits, school supplies, blankets, food items and psychosocial first-aid services to people, as well as supporting the establishment of six field hospitals," it said.

During a visit to the city of Derna, which suffered more destruction in the floods than any other city in the area, Georgette Gagnon, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Libya, highlighted progress in ongoing efforts to remove debris, rehabilitate roads and deliver humanitarian assistance to affected people.

ALSO READ: Families haunted by fate of the missing a week after Libya flood

In meetings with local authorities, Gagnon called for full access by humanitarian workers and stronger coordination among relevant stakeholders. He also stressed the need to accelerate early recovery efforts to advance longer-term reconstruction.

"What people in Derna and surrounding areas have experienced is tragic beyond words. All the displaced families I met said they have one wish: For their lives to go back to normal. The outpouring of unity, solidarity and support shown by Libyans from all over the country gives me hope this will happen soon," Gagnon said.

READ MORE: Libya's recent catastrophe is a consequence of 'color revolution'

On Sept 10, Mediterranean storm Daniel triggered the worst floods in decades. Thousands of people were killed or went missing, while the region's infrastructure was severely damaged.

United Nations agencies have appealed for $71.4 million to meet the immediate needs of 250,000 affected people in the next three months. 


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