News / Africa

People in Battle-Torn Libya Facing Critical Shortages

Five-year-old Razan's home in Misrata, Libya, was destroyed by a missile. She now lives in a school in the city with her parents, sister and 76-year-old diabetic grandmother.
Five-year-old Razan's home in Misrata, Libya, was destroyed by a missile. She now lives in a school in the city with her parents, sister and 76-year-old diabetic grandmother.

The UN refugee agency reports tens of thousands of people on both sides of the battle lines in Libya are facing critical shortages of essential goods.  The UNHCR participated in two inter-agency missions last week to government and opposition controlled areas to assess the prevailing situation.  

The inter-agency mission went to see both sides of the conflict.  U.N. agencies first visited conflict zones south and east of the Libyan capital Tripoli.  This included displacement sites in government controlled areas near the Misrata frontline and the Nafusa Mountain.  

U.N. refugee spokesman, Adrian Edwards, says the U.N. team found significant displacement, widespread violence and he says they are in urgent need of help.  

He says displaced people are in difficult circumstances, but seem to be coping.  He says most are housed in hotels, dormitories and seaside homes.  He says they are receiving assistance from the government and private charities.

“However, we are concerned about the possibility of an aid crisis looming," he said. "Despite the fact that warehouses are currently well stocked with basic items, it is apparent that the combined impact of protracted conflict and sanctions are eroding the government’s ability to effectively deliver assistance.  The view of the inter-agency mission was that if this situation continues, international aid is likely to be needed within weeks.”    

On the other side of the battle lines, in opposition-controlled Misrata, the inter-agency mission met members of the Misrata Transitional Council.  Edwards says the UNHCR was told most of the 25,000 displaced people in the city are staying with relatives and friends, while others are staying in schools and unoccupied new buildings.

He says this is placing a heavy burden upon people who have not received salaries since January.  He calls the situation unsustainable.

“We spoke to several people who reported kidnappings in Misrata and its surroundings," said Edwards. "Local relief agencies and human rights groups in the city estimate that at least 1,000 people, mainly men, have been kidnapped or have disappeared since the conflict started in February." 

"A woman told us that her three brothers-in-law were abducted.  Two, who were later freed and said they had been taken to a government camp in Zlitan where they had to pledge allegiance before being trained and forced to fight on the government side,” he added. 

UNHCR spokesman Edwards says life is slowly picking up in Misrata. Young people are cleaning up the streets and shops are re-opening.  But, the Misrata Transitional Council says the city is facing food and medicine shortages.

The UNHCR reports since the beginning of the war, 630 people have been registered dead in five hospitals, while 6,000 people have been injured, many by unexploded ordinance.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee 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.
South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infectionsi
X
November 28, 2014 3:31 PM
South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video South Africa Sees Male Circumcision as Way to Reduce HIV Infections

South Africa remains plagued by AIDS despite massive government and NGO efforts on prevention and life-sustaining Anti-Retro-Viral programs. But the country has opened up another front to reduce new HIV infections: promoting circumcision. Emilie Iob reports for VOA News from a pioneering circumcision center in Orange Farm, Johannesburg.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.

All About America

AppleAndroid