UN humanitarian chief calls for temporary halt in Libya

Ongoing fight in Libya has cut essential supplies and aid to be delivered to the affected people.

Updated: May 10, 2011, 09:09 AM IST

United Nations: All parties need to agree to a temporary pause in the ongoing fight in Libya to allow essential supplies and aid to be delivered to the affected populations, reports quoted UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos as saying.

"All parties need to give a temporary pause in the conflict in Misrata and other areas," Amos, the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs, told the UN Security Council in an open meeting on Libya. "This would provide respite from violence for the civilian population and enable those who wish to leave to do so."

The "temporary pause" in fighting would enable the delivery of essential medical supplies and other relief items and allow for evacuation of third country nationals, the wounded, and people who need emergency medical assistance, Amos said.

"Widespread shortages are paralysing the country in ways that will impact greatly on the general population in the months ahead, " she warned.

Over 746,000 people, most of them third-country nationals, have fled the country, she noted, while some 5,000 people remain stranded at border points in Egypt, Tunisia and Niger.

" Approximately, 68,000 internally displaced people are living in spontaneous settlements in eastern areas of Libya."

The conflict, the breakdown on state infrastructure, and shortages of cash and fuel are causing "serious problems" to the population of Libya, Amos said.