UNITED NATIONS, New York - UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is tackling the health needs of the thousands of people fleeing the reported violence in Libya, including women and girls-particularly along the Libyan-Tunisian border, where conditions have reached crisis point.
An estimated 172,000 people have already fled Libya towards Tunisia, Egypt, and Niger. Among those, more than 90,000 people have so far crossed into Tunisia, according to the International Organization for Migration. The movement of refugees has intensified, resulting in a huge bottleneck on the Tunisian side of the border. In addition, tens of thousands are still stranded on the Libyan side, without access to food, health, water and sanitation. This could have deadly consequences for the most vulnerable, particularly girls and pregnant women.
In response to the crisis, UNFPA has conducted a rapid needs assessment of the situation in different sites hosting refugees, including migrant workers, along the Tunisian border with Libya. The assessment helped plan the distribution of medical and reproductive health kits, comprising items such as clinical delivery kits for health facilities and maternity wards, as well as equipment and medical supplies for hospitals, including blood transfusion and emergency obstetric care kits.
UNFPA will also provide additional items, such as dignity kits, which include items such as soap, sanitary pads, essential clothing and detergents to women and girls crossing the borders into Tunisia. It will also distribute basic clean delivery kits to the various camps along the Tunisian border, in coordination with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the Tunisian Red Crescent and the Tunisian Ministry of Health.
In addition, UNFPA will be providing basic psychosocial support to people fleeing into Tunisia. The Fund is preparing for these efforts by deploying 20 psychologists at the different sites and camps hosting the fleeing population.
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