Libya’s humanitarian crisis deteriorates

Humanitarian conditions are continuing to deteriorate in Libya five years after the start of the Arab Spring.

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Refugees hold suitcases as they crowd the Libya-Tunisia border in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia, March 2, 2011.

Updated Jun 13, 2016

Five years of conflict and turmoil in war-torn Libya have resulted in dire humanitarian conditions in the country.

The humanitarian crisis is only worsening with time, as the civil war in the country continues with no signs of abating. 

The ongoing conflict has claimed thousands of lives and left just as many wounded.

More than 30,000 people have suffered critical injuries, and for many life may never be the same again.

According to estimates from the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than 2.44 million people in Libya are currently in immediate need of humanitarian assistance, including almost 435,000 people who have been internally displaced within the country.

In addition, around 1.75 million people – especially in southern and eastern Libya – are affected by the ongoing chaos but have not been displaced. 

WHO reported that the conflict has either prevented or limited over 1.2 million people’s access to food. 

Approximately 680,000 people are in need of assistance to gain access to safe drinking water and sanitation.

Gender-based violence and forced recruitment have increasingly threatened women and children, while humanitarian activists operate in one of the most hostile environments in the world.

In the last six months over 60 percent of hospitals have become inaccessible or have been closed in conflict zones. Moreover, there has been a shortage of essential medicines and supplies.

Libyan academic and journalist Dr.Mustafa Fetouri, told TRTWorld that between 7,000 and 12,000 families displaced from the DAESH-controlled city of Sirte recently fled to a small town called Bin Walid.

WHO says Libya’s health care system has deteriorated to the point of collapse as it struggles to deal with casualties from the conflict.

Cases of serious diseases are also rising. 

An estimated 1.9 million people are in need of urgent assistance to meet their basic health care needs.

There has been a surge recently in confrontations between Libyans and DAESH terrorists.

As a result, the number of injured people has risen while the capacity of hospitals has been severely reduced.

UN Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya Martin Kobler, urged the international community to dispatch medical assistance to Libya.

Due to the ongoing conflict and consequent lawlessness, the country has also witnessed an influx of 250,000 refugees and asylum seekers.

They have fled violence, poverty and political turmoil in northern and sub-Saharan Africa, as well as the Middle East, with the aim of seeking a safe and economically stable life in Europe.

These refugees not only suffer from discrimination, they also have limited access to food and medical care and live in miserable conditions in shelters. 

Author: Nebras Ibrahim

TRTWorld and agencies