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

US Investors Eye IPO for China's Alibaba

E-commerce giant handled 80 percent of China's online business last year, logging more Internet transactions than US-based Amazon.com and eBay combined More

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

As cease-fire begins, Palestinians celebrate in streets; Israelis remain wary More

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

In treatment of a 12-year-old boy Chinese doctors used a 3-D printer and special software to create an exact replica of vertebra 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.
Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implanti
X
August 27, 2014 4:53 PM
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 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. VOA News reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Northern California Quake: No Way to Know When Next One Will Hit

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake rocked northern California’s Napa Valley on Sunday. Roads twisted and water mains burst. It was the wine country’s most severe quake in 15 years, and while hospitals treated many people, no one was killed. Arash Arabasadi has more from Washington on what the future may hold for those residents living on a fault line.
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.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.

AppleAndroid