Situation in Libya worsens

Migrants flee Libya

Humanitarian organizations are expressing concern about the worsening humanitarian situation in Libya.

Coalition forces have carried out aerial bombings of key government targets in Libya to enforce a no-fly zone over the country imposed by the UN Security Council.

The fighting between forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi and the rebels has intensified, leaving many Libyan civilians in the crossfire.

Radmilla Suleymanova reports

Duration: 2’27″

The humanitarian situation in Libya is getting worse, international organizations warn.

The conflict in the North African country between Qadhafi government and pro-democracy rebels has caused hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.

It’s been a week since coalition forces led by the United States, France and Great Britain voted to enforce a no-fly zone in Libya and began air-strikes on  military bases.

The International Organization for Migration or the IOM says that people continue to flee the conflict in Libya by the thousands…although the increased violence makes it more dangerous for people to travel to the borders.

Jumbe Omari Jumbe works for the IOM.

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“Talking to many of these migrants fleeing there, they said they had really to think twice before taking the route because with all the bombings and the news that there are so many checkpoints. Many of them actually haven’t taken the decision to flee.”

He warns that the situation in Libya can turn into a humanitarian crisis.


“We are still asking the international community to stay focused on this issue because we don’t know what the situation will evolve inside Libya. This problem can as well turn into a refugee problem.”

The U.N Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya, Rashid Khalikov, back from a trip to Libya also warned that civilians are facing growing danger.

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“I think one has to understand the humanitarian situation that is not only limited to the requirements in emergency of food aid and water supplies and medication supplies or shelters. It is also protection of people who find themselves in the middle of crossfire and that is of huge concern to the United Nations humanitarian organizations.”

Meanwhile, the World Food Programme said that some food prices in Libya have more than doubled.

Abeer Etefa is a WFP Spokesperson.

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“Food prices have skyrocketed over the last few days. The price of wheat has gone up 105%. The price of rice has gone up 88%. Most food commodities are not available in the market. In addition, a lot of the people that have left the country that we’ve seen crossing the borders have reported that 95% percent of the shops in some areas are completely closed.”

Etefa says that increased food prices are affecting the poorest people in the country. So far WFP has moved more than 1,500 tons of food into Eastern Libya.

Radmilla Suleymanova, United Nations  

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