The situation in Libya continues to be precarious with continued fierce fighting between the rebels and pro- Gaddafi forces. The city of Misrata continues to be under siege for the seventh consecutive week. The number of internally displaced persons inside Libya is reportedly rising, although no exact figures are available.
UNICEF, in news note issued on 11 April, called for an immediate end to the siege of Misrata, warning that tens of thousands of children were at risk in the conflict-ridden city. Intensified fighting and indiscriminate shelling has led to an increased number of children being killed in Misrata, with many others lacking food and safe water, traumatized from the atrocities they have witnessed. UNICEF has now verified that children as young as 9 months have been killed in Misrata, with at least 21 child deaths and many more injuries, due to shrapnel from mortars and tanks, and bullet wounds.
The humanitarian cargo ship docked at Misrata on 7 April, carrying food, medical supplies, doctors and other relief items. In doing so it opened up a new humanitarian lifeline to civilians trapped in the Libyan conflict. The ship delivered UNICEF supplies which included emergency health kits and surgical material that will cover the urgent needs for 30,000 people for a month. UNICEF also sent in obstetric surgical kits, food rations, midwifery kits and hygiene kits. In addition UNICEF provided play kits for children, so as to enable them to stay in the relative safety of indoors.
UNICEF is also responding to needs in eastern Libya through the delivery of health kits and hygiene kits for the benefit of tens of thousands of affected and displaced people, through partnerships with NGOs present in Benghazi.
According to IOM/OCHA figures, a total of 501,240 people have fled Libya to neighbouring countries as 11 April, of which 239,078 people have fled to Tunisia, 199,700 to Egypt, 36,580 to Niger, 14,126 to Algeria 6,219 to Chad, 2,800 to Sudan, and in total 1,922 migrants have arrived by boat in Italy, as well as 815 in Malta. 38,129 Libyans have crossed the borders since 1 April.
UNICEF, through the updated Regional Flash Appeal disseminated on 1 April, has increased its funding requirement by US$ 4,850,000, to US$ 13,030,000. To date 29 per cent of the revised amount has been received (excluding pledges).