Giles Clarke

Libya: CERF funds much needed health care and protection

The ongoing conflict in and around Tripoli continues to drive civilian casualties and displacement. Some 146 civilian casualties, including 40 civilian deaths, have been recorded to date. As these figures include only those cases that could be individually verified as civilian, they must be considered a minimum.

82,300 people had to flee their homes in search of safety, according to displacement tracking by the International Organization for Migration. Half of them are estimated to be children. Humanitarians estimated that over 100,000 civilians remain in immediate front-line areas, with over 400,000 more in areas directly impacted by clashes (within 1 kilometre of the front). Concerns are high for civilians remaining these areas, as conditions deteriorate and emergency services are unable to get through.

Availability of food is very limited in conflict areas. Credit: OCHA Libya 

Humanitarians are extremely concerned about the safety and wellbeing of 3,400 refugees and migrants trapped in detentions centres already exposed to, or in close proximity to fighting. Access to food, water and healthcare is severely restricted at these facilities. Refugees and migrants outside of detention centres are also at heightened risk, and face discrimination in accessing collective shelters and other services.

Where access allows, humanitarian partners have reached over 47,000 people with critical aid since the onset of Tripoli clashes in early April. However, insufficient access and an outstanding funding gap are severely hampering response operations.

To date, the Humanitarian Flash Appeal for US$10.2 million for the Tripoli response is only 40 per cent funded or pledged. In May, CERF allocated US$ 2 million to support immediate requirements in the appeal and provide life-saving assistance to over 40,000 people.

An ophthalmologist on a WHO mobile clinic team examines a patient at a settlement for displaced people in Ajdabiya city. Credit: WHO/Libya

A large part of the funding is supporting the provision of emergency health services. Funds are helping to ensure the continuity of mass casualty management and trauma care in field hospitals and primary health care centres and the deployment of Emergency Medical Teams (EMT) with surgical capacity to frontline hospitals in Gharyan, Tarhouna and Tripoli.

CERF funds are also helping to tackle gender-based violence (GBV), which continues to increase as a direct result of ongoing conflict. Funds are enabling humanitarian partners to provide dignity kits for vulnerable displaced women and girls, mental health and pyschosocial support (MHPSS) services and recreational activities. 

Hawa Ramadan, 42, lives in Al Sayyad IDP camp, in Tripoli. She was born with a disability, and when the uprising reached her hometown of Tawergha, her sisters carried her into a car and they all fled the city. Over the past seven years, they have had to flee several cities and experienced multiple displacements before finally reaching this camp in Tripoli. Credit: OCHA/Giles Clarke