News / Africa

Libya Agrees to Give UN Humanitarian Access to Tripoli, Misrata

U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos talks to reporters, during a press conference in Benghazi, Libya Monday, April 18, 2011.
U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos talks to reporters, during a press conference in Benghazi, Libya Monday, April 18, 2011.
Margaret Besheer

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in Budapest Monday that the U.N. has reached an agreement with the government of Moammar Gadhafi in Libya to establish a humanitarian presence in Tripoli.  U.N. officials also say Mr. Gadhafi’s government has promised them access to the besieged rebel city of Misrata.

U.N. Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters in New York that the agreement has several elements.

"Our understanding is that the government of Libya has agreed to facilitate a humanitarian presence in Tripoli. Among other things, they have agreed to facilitate the provision of equipment for international staff, and also agreed on steps to allow for the entry of international staff. The Libyan government said it would ensure unimpeded access through the Tunisian border into Libya up to Tripoli, and said it would ensure safe passage for humanitarian workers to areas where government of Libya is in control," he said.

U.N. Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos was in Tripoli on Saturday and in Benghazi on Sunday along with the secretary-general’s special envoy for Libya, Abdel-Elah al-Khatib.

Amos’ spokesperson, Stephanie Bunker, said in addition to access to Tripoli, the humanitarian chief discussed with the Libyan authorities the possibility of sending a U.N. team to the besieged rebel-held city of Misrata to assess humanitarian needs there.

"The government did agree to that and the government said that it would do everything possible to ensure that such a mission could go to Misrata safely from Tripoli, so that is where we are right now," she said.

She said the U.N. plans to send staff into Tripoli and then to Misrata to assess what is or is not needed. "Once we have that information, it all starts with the information, once we have that information, then we look at what do we need to get, to send and to get it in, and how can we do that," she said.

Bunker said the U.N. has staff in Cairo that is ready to go to Tripoli once access is established. She said from Tripoli they could move to Misrata very quickly, adding they could be there in a matter of "days" if the agreement holds. The U.N. already has an aid operation in the rebel-controlled eastern city of Benghazi.

While in Libya, humanitarian chief Amos and special envoy Al-Khatib were unable to persuade the Libyan government to agree to a cessation of hostilities in Misrata, where, despite a NATO-enforced No-Fly Zone, the city has continued to be attacked with shells and rockets.

The United Nations has appealed for $311 million for emergency humanitarian needs in Libya. Less than half that amount has been received so far.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid