Fri 15/09/2023 - 14:19

North-East Libya was hit by Storm Daniel, resulting in the collapse of two dams in the coastal city of Derna. Before the floods, UNHCR was already active in the country, which hosts over 40,000 refugees and asylum-seekers, and counts a total of over 150,000 internally displaced people, and 695,000 returnees.   

Today, the toll of the devastation is catastrophic: Over 6,000 people are confirmed dead, and the death toll might reach 20,000- a fifth of the city’s population. 

The five provinces directly affected by the storm in the north-east of Libya are home to approximately 884,000 people, of which close to 50,000 were internally displaced people who had fled for their lives from fighting between armed groups. It is estimated that an additional 40,000 people have now been displaced from the floods- often with nothing left as their homes have been destroyed. 

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency is working closely with national and international partners to respond to the situation as part of a joint UN response. People affected by the floods need urgent relief in the form of shelter, non-food items such as tarpaulins, hygiene kits, plastic sheets, and solar lamps, but also provision of medical supplies and health services. 

UNHCR in coordination with LibAid already started distributing thousands of core relief items, and additional supplies have been dispatched from UNHCR’s warehouse in Tripoli directly to the city of Derna.  

While more humanitarian organizations are rushing to provide critical support to the people affected by the floods, ramping up the emergency response is of the utmost importance. As about 10’000 families have lost their homes and livelihoods, an immediate relief to their plight is urgently needed. 

You can show solidarity and support UNHCR’s operations on the ground too. Your support allows for our teams to continue their relentless efforts to help the victims of the disaster.

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