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UN: Libya faces severe shortages, over 746,000 people fled

Arab World Materials 10 May 2011 01:16
The continuing conflict, breakdown in the infrastructure and shortage in fuel and cash are causing serious problems for Libya's population, the UN emergency relief coordinator informed the UN Security Council on Monday.
UN: Libya faces severe shortages, over 746,000 people fled

The continuing conflict, breakdown in the infrastructure and shortage in fuel and cash are causing serious problems for Libya's population, the UN emergency relief coordinator informed the UN Security Council on Monday.

Over 746,000 people, most of them third-country nationals, have fled Libya since the beginning of the crisis in mid-February while an estimated 65,000 Libyans have been displaced by the fighting, DPA reported.

Thousands of others are stranded at borders with Egypt and Tunisia, Valerie Amos said.

"Widespread shortages are paralyzing the country in ways that will impact greatly on the general population in the months ahead," Amos said in a periodic briefing on the humanitarian situation in Libya to the 15-nation council.

The people caught in the fighting remain the biggest concern for the UN, she said.

Amos said the UN has been unable to determine the precise number of people killed by the conflict. She said the longer the conflict, the greater the humanitarian problems will be.

The UN had established a humanitarian presence in Tripoli and Benghazi following an agreement reached with Libyan authorities on April 17.

But UN offices in Tripoli were ransacked on May 1 by Moamer Gaddafi's supporters despite the government's assurances to provide security and facilitate UN relief work, forcing the evacuation of 12 UN staff from Tripoli.

Amos said Libyan authorities apologized for the ransacking and promised to compensate. She said the UN was considering to return its workers to Tripoli as soon as possible so they can open land access to Misurata and the Western part of Libya in order to deliver relief supplies.

The World Food Programme and relief organizations are contributing to the humanitarian operations in Libya as food, water and other supplies are running low, she said.

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