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Regional Flash Appeal for the Libyan Crisis - Revision - 18 May 2011

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Since the start of the crisis on 16 February, over 803,000 people have fled Libya, including 296,500 Libyans, 94,884 Egyptians, 58,904 Nigeriens, 41,322 Tunisians, 24,365 Chadians and over 271,200 third-country nationals (TCNs). Of this outflow, 397,870 people (or 49%) have fled to Tunisia, with a further 284,590 (35%) to Egypt. Other countries in the region which have received significant numbers of people fleeing the crisis include Italy and Malta which have received some 12,000 people by sea, plus Sudan (2,800). In terms of actual fighting inside the country, eastern Libya has mostly stabilised and is largely under the control of a newly created and self-titled Interim Transitional National Council (ITNC), while the west remains largely under the authority of the Government of Libya, albeit with pockets of resistance in places like Misrata and the Nafusa Mountains.

While the evacuation programme has taken priority until now (the International Organization for Migration and its partners have transported over 136,500 people to safety), new information about the crisis has led the Humanitarian Country Team to reprioritise its actions and strategic objectives for this revision of the Regional Flash Appeal. The focus now is on addressing the crisis inside Libya, while taking into account the needs of people who have left the country or are stranded at borders, and communities that are hosting displaced people.

The foremost assessed humanitarian need in the Libya crisis is the protection of civilians from the conflict. The most obvious conflict-related effects are the deaths and injuries of civilians and combatants, but there are also significant effects of displacement and the reduced functional capacity of public institutions. Other emerging trends in the crisis include pockets of acute humanitarian need in places like Misrata, but in most of the country the situation is not critical yet. However, the potential for a worsening of the humanitarian situation is very much present, with food, fuel and medical stocks running low, shortages of personnel in key sectors such as health, and no end in sight to the political situation which has divided the country. Some of the worst effects of the crisis are now being exported to nearby countries. Niger and Chad, two of the world’s poorest countries, must now face the burden of reintegrating thousands of their citizens who have been expelled or who fled the crisis. These workers’ remittances were key to the survival and livelihoods of their communities at home; without these sources of income, the future of these communities is bleak without targeted assistance.

Limited access into Libya remains a central characteristic of this crisis: it has limited the humanitarian community’s ability to assess needs and develop a meaningful understanding of the situation inside Libya. To date, the 7-11 April inter-agency assessment is the only one of its kind carried out inside Libya. Improved access to the country is essential to accurately identify the needs and plan an appropriate response.

The United Nations has named a Humanitarian Coordinator for the Libya crisis to work closely with the Resident Coordinators for Libya, Egypt and Tunisia to ensure humanitarian aid is delivered, and eventually provide a platform for recovery in a post-conflict scenario. The cluster system has been formally activated, with eight clusters established and two further sectoral groups for education and the multi-sectoral needs of refugees and others displaced across the border. The Flash Appeal has been extended by a further three months, taking its planning and budgeting horizon until the beginning of September for up to 1.6 million people requiring humanitarian aid within Libya, and up to 500,000 requiring aid outside it. This revised Flash Appeal requires US1$407.8 million to achieve its objectives. Taking into account funding received of $175 million, the revised Appeal has unmet requirements of $232.8 million.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.