More than half of Libyans could need aid: UN Chief

3.6 mn people could need humanitarian aid, UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned.

Updated: Apr 13, 2011, 22:24 PM IST

Doha: As many as 3.6 million people, or
more than half of Libya`s population, could need humanitarian
aid, UN chief Ban Ki-moon warned on Wednesday as the Libya contact
group met in Doha.

On the political front, Ban urged the international
community to "speak with one voice" on the crisis, and to
"continue to work in common cause on behalf of the Libyan

"Under our worst-case scenario, as many as 3.6 million
people could eventually require humanitarian assistance" in
Libya, which has a population of six million, Ban told
delegates before the session went behind closed doors.

"The humanitarian situation continues to worsen," he

"Approximately 490,000 people -- almost half a million
people -- have left the country since the crisis began," Ban
said, quoting figures from the United Nations refugee agency

"On average, 2,700 people cross to Tunisia and Egypt
every day. Roughly 330,000 people have been internally
displaced," the UN secretary general told the first meeting of
the contact group.

"We must mobilise all means at our disposal, including
military, to get aid to those who need it," he said, while
stressing that current aid efforts were insufficient.

"I hope that our $310 million flash appeal will be
generously supported. So far it is only 39 percent funded --
clearly insufficient given the prospective need," he said.

"Just as clearly, Libya will require our united
efforts in peacemaking, peace building and reconstruction once
a ceasefire has been agreed," he said.