Libya + 7 more

Update no. 5: Humanitarian Situation in Libya and the Neighbouring Countries



- The UNHCR High Commisioner (HC) and the Director General of IOM completed their mission to Tunisia. On 8 March, they met with the President and Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Social Affairs, the Secretary General of the Tunisian Red Crescent as well as with the UN agencies and NGOs. In addition, the HC visited the Ras Adjir border and the Choucha transit camp. "An open border is the most precious thing you can have in a refugee crisis," Mr. Guterres said. "At a moment of tragedy, the Tunisian government and its people are setting an example of humanitarian generosity by opening their borders and their homes."

- Residents have reportedly been fleeing the oil port town of Ras Lanuf, 50 km west of Benghazi, due to fighting in the area according to OCHA.

- UNHCR Libya emergency team is currently in Al Saloum at Egypt-Libya border making necessary preparations for a deployment inside eastern Libya. UNHCR would like to urgently reach Benghazi to assess the needs and provide assistance to people of concerned stranded in the Benghazi port area.

- ERC Valerie Amos sent a letter to Minister for Foreign Affairs of Libya on 7 March, to follow up earlier agreement made between the UN Secretary General and Minister to organise the UN humanitarian needs assessment mission to Tripoli. ERC suggested that the mission take place later this week.

- According to IOM, some 15 % of Libya's foreign population has now left the country.

- The critical gap at present remains with long-haul flights to Bangladesh and to other countries in Asia. IOM and UNHCR are using available cash contributions to charter flights, and several donor countries have come forward with in-kind contributions of long-haul flights. According to the UNHCR-IOM Humanitarian Evacuation Cell, some 70 long-haul flights are needed for those who have already crossed from Libya into Egypt and Tunisia, a significant and growing gap remains in identifying the capacity to meet the existing needs.