U.N. Agencies Begin Deploying Humanitarian Aid In Western Region Of Libya

U.N. agencies have begun providing humanitarian assistance in the western region of Libya for the first time since civil unrest began in February, following an April 17 agreement between the organization and the Libyan government to allow a “humanitarian corridor,” Bloomberg reports (Varner, 4/19).

According to U.N. spokesperson Farhan Haq, the World Food Program (WFP), UNICEF and the WHO are working to provide aid in Libya, especially those areas hardest hit by fighting, including Misrata and Tripoli, Xinhua reports. He said the WFP had a convoy of eight trucks moving into the area to supply food for 50,000 people for 30 days (4/20). Additionally, UNICEF “said a ship carrying first aid kits, drinking water and hygiene material for up to 25,000 people would arrive in Misrata” on Wednesday, according to Bloomberg (4/19).

The WHO said the Misrata hospital is “overwhelmed” and the agency’s “priorities continued to be access for medical evacuation and ensuring the availability of medicines for non-communicable diseases, given the urgent need for medical supplies to treat vascular diseases, diabetes, hypertension and cancer, said WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic,” U.N. News Centre reports.

The U.N. estimates almost half a million people have left Libya since the fighting began, and approximately 330,000 people are internally displaced, according to Xinhua (4/20).