UNOCHA LIBYA: Hundreds stranded as Misrata violence continues

Map of City of Misrata. Credit: OCHA Libya Office

Civilians are in grave danger as fighting between Government and opposition forces continues in western Libya. More reports emerged yesterday (Thursday 14th April) of heavy shelling of the port of Misrata, which resulted in several casualties and prevented ships from docking. Several hundred women, children, third-country nationals (TCNs) and asylum-seekers remain stranded in Misrata and require urgent evacuation and resettlement.

An International Organization for Migration (IOM)-chartered ship was able to reach Misrata yesterday evening to deliver humanitarian supplies and evacuate some 600 TCNs to safety. However, the United Nations Refugee Agency and IOM will need more funding to evacuate the approximately 10,000 TCNs in Misrata who wish to leave.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) plans to evacuate up to 1,000 third-country nationals by ship from Misrata today. The ship picked up medical equipment, food and other supplies provided by aid groups in Benghazi yesterday for delivery to Misrata. According to the Libyan Red Crescent, 6,000 third-country nationals are still unable to leave Misrata due to lack of funding as well as continued hostilities between pro-Qaddafi and opposition forces.

In response to the humanitarian crisis, the World Food Programme has distributed food for 136,000 people and Save the Children has trained 19 child protection needs assessors in eastern Libya. However, access to Misrata and other areas and evacuation of TCNs remain primary concerns. The water from the municipal water system in Misrata has been cut off for 45 days forcing the population to use untreated well-water. but, without access, humanitarian actors are unable to determine or address water, sanitation and hygiene needs.

According to the Financial Tracking Services, the $310 million Flash Appeal for the Libyan Crisis is currently only 41 per cent funded.

(UNOCHA, 15th April 2011)

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