At least 750,000 have fled Libya: UN

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - 12:37

United Nations: Three quarters of a
million people have fled Libya since Muammar Gaddafi`s forces launched an offensive against anti-government demonstrators,
the UN humanitarian chief has said.

"The conflict, the breakdown of state infrastructure
and shortages of cash and fuel are causing serious problems to
the population of Libya," Valerie Amos, UN chief humanitarian
coordinator, told the UN Security Council yesterday.

The United Nations could not give an accurate figure
for the number of casualties since the conflict erupted in
mid-February.

But more than 746,000 people have fled the country,
about 5,000 are stranded at border points in Egypt, Tunisia
and Niger and some 58,000 are displaced in eastern Libya, Amos
said.
"Widespread shortages are paralysing the country in
ways which will impact gravely on the general population in
the months ahead, particularly for the poorest and the most
vulnerable," Amos told ambassadors from the 15-nation council.

UN humanitarian workers were pulled out of Tripoli
after the UN compound was ransacked on May 1, just after a
coalition air raid which killed one of Gaddafi`s sons.
"The government has apologised for the incident and
offered full compensation for the damage caused," Amos said,
adding that new security guarantees had been given by the
government.

"It is our intention to return as soon as possible to
Tripoli and open land access to Misrata, the western mountains
and other affected areas."
Rebel-held Misrata has been under attack by Gaddafi
forces for more than two months and hundreds are said to have
been killed there.

"Some people are running short of food, water and
other basics. Medical facilities need supplies and trained
personnel," Amos said.

More than 13,000 people have been evacuated from the
western city, which normally has a population of about
300,000, but Amos said up to 300 third country nationals are
still stranded there.

The UN has appealed for about 300 million dollars for
its Libyan humanitarian operation and so far received about
144 million dollars, Amos said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - 12:37

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