UN agencies await full access to Libya

Family in Lybia

As fighting continues in Libya, United Nations agencies are poised to enter the country with humanitarian aid as soon as full access is granted. Gerry Adams reports.

At a briefing of UN agencies in Geneva, the UN humanitarian agency, OCHA, says it still has had no access to the country an has been unable to do a full-needs assessment. Meanwhile, Marixie Mercado of UNICEF, the UN Children’s Fund, reports that the organization has a team of six people ready to enter Libya when conditions permit.

“We already have supplies on both the Egyptian and Tunisian sides of the border. We are no procuring supplies for an additional 30 thousand people, and these supplies will be stored temporarily in Cairo and Tunis, and some supplies will be stored directly in Benghazi.”

Melissa Fleming of UNHCR says while the refugee agency has a similar situation, it has managed to send in some supplies already with the help of the Libyan Red Cross.

“Of course these are only reaching certain parts of the country, and the cities that are under siege or under Qadhafi control are not being reached. We do have some information that in the towns where there was recent fighting there has been quite a lot of internal displacement, and reportedly thousands of displaced families living in kind of makeshift shelters.”

The World Health Organization is also waiting to gain access to the country. Spokesperson Fadela Chaib says while evacuation of wounded people for treatment continues, WHO is training people at the border Libya shares with Egypt for casualty management in preparation for care of the injured.

“We have pre-positioned drugs and medical equipment at both borders. And as soon as we have access to Libya – as is the case for the other UN agencies – we will help in providing these drugs to centrers and hospitals. But for the time being, we don’t have information about casualties inside Libya.”

Fadela Chaib of the World Health Organization, WHO.

Duration: 1’53″ 

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