Libya situation report

13 April 2011

Situation Highlights:

  • The humanitarian situation in Libya continues to be precarious with continued fierce fighting as the number of internally displaced persons inside Libya is reportedly rising, while security concerns continue to hinder widespread access by humanitarian and international partners.
  • Tens of thousands of children were at risk due to the intensified fighting and indiscriminate shelling. Children as young as 9 months in Misrata were killed, while others are experiencing injuries, the trauma of bombing and shelling, shortages of water and other necessities.
  • The humanitarian cargo has docked at Misrata on 7 April, delivering UNICEF supplies such as emergency health kits and surgical material, covering the urgent needs for 30,000 people for a month. UNICEF also sent in obstetric surgical kits, food rations, midwifery kits and hygiene kits, and has provided play kits for children, and is delivering health kits and hygiene kit to the affected and displaced people in eastern Libya through partnerships with NGOs.
  • A total of 501,240 people have fled Libya to neighbouring countries including Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Chad, Sudan, Italy and Malta as of 11 April. As of 12 April 2011, 8,275 people are residing in 3 Tunisia transit camps, with an estimated 900 children. A total of 10 babies have been born in the camps since the beginning of the crisis.

Funding needs

  • To date, only 29% of the revised amount has been received (excluding pledges).
  • To provide a well coordinated regional response to the Libya crisis and ensure regional level preparedness, 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.

Humanitarian Needs and UNICEF Response

In the cluster approach to the Libya response, UNICEF is leading the WASH cluster, mental health and psycho-social support coordination group with IOM, and co-leading protection cluster with UNHCR.

1. Libya

The protracted situation and the intensified fighting have urged more and more women and children to flee Libya. Tens of thousands of children living in the besieged city of Misrata are now experiencing the trauma of bombing and shelling, shortages of water and other necessities.

Based on information from doctors working in Misrata, 21 children have been killed by mortar shelling and bullets and many more have been wounded. The presence of landmines, abandoned munitions and unexploded ordnances inside Libya pose a serious threat to civilians including children. Children’s long enforced confinement indoors – and hence out of school – necessitates psychological relief from the conflict.

It is reported that medications for anaesthesia, hypertension, heart problems, wide-spectrum antibiotics and morphine have almost run out and are urgently needed in Misrata hospitals due to the ongoing fighting. UNICEF is very concerned about the number of Landmines and Explosive Remnants of War that pose a great threat to children and their families in Libya.

UNICEF response:

  • 2 UNICEF staff, 1 WASH officer and 1 Child Protection officer joint an inter-agency assessment, which initial findings indicate a three-pronged focus between: Internally Displaced People support needs; Significant protection and child protection needs of the overall population (psycho-social support and Mine Risk Education); and Significant needs to support sustained essential service provision.
  • UNICEF is currently responding to the needs inside Libya through partnerships present in Benghazi, the second largest city in Libya. UNICEF-provided Health kits and hygiene kits are being distributed for the benefit of 60,000 persons and 15,000 persons respectively.
  • An emergency Mine Risk Education project is expected to be implemented in collaborate with Handicap International by providing important information and safety messages to at-risk populations through mass media, outreach and printed materials, and carrying out injury surveillance.
  • UNICEF-supported Save the Children Fund to carry out a Child Protection Needs Assessment Training in Egypt (9-11 April) in view of response inside Libya to acquire knowledge and skills in needs assessment and child protection in emergencies in order to carry out a rapid child protection needs assessment in Libya.
  • An Education and ICT specialists are expected to join the fully functional UNICEF Libya team now consisting of 8 members, including Team Leader, Emergency Coordinator, Chief of Operations, Chief of Communications, Child Protection and WASH specialists, Security officer, and Admin/Operations specialist.

2. Tunisia

According to IOM/OCHA figures, a total of 239,078 people have fled to Tunisia as of 11 April. As of 12 April 2011, an estimated 8,275 people are staying at the 3 Tunisia border camps (Shousha, UAE and the IFRC). As of 10 April, an estimated 900 children were staying at the camps.

UNICEF continues to lead the WASH sector in Tunisia, addressing areas of hygiene promotion, water supply, excreta disposal, monitoring and solid waste management.

Supplies

  • Medical and WASH items received include water purification tablets, baby/infant anthropometric tools, emergency health kit, oral rehydration salts, electronic scales for mother/child, light weight 42m² tents and water level meter.
  • 10,000 blankets and 2,000 collapsible jerry-cans were dispatched to the Tunisian Red Cross (CTR) for further distribution to the migrants in the camp(s).

Child Protection

  • UNICEF’s team of psychologists and social workers continue to conduct family visits in the 3 camps, and have thus far detected 37 cases of vulnerable women and children, including 8 disabled children.
  • With UNICEF’s support, 14 out of 33 unaccompanied and separated children have been reunified with their families. UNICEF continues to coordinate with UNHCR, IOM, the Ministry of Women and the Ministry of Social affairs to ensure all unaccompanied minors are provided with safe shelter, protection, and expedited reunification and travel procedures.
  • The Child Friendly Space at Shousha Camp continues to receive around 35 children on a daily basis.
  • A standard birth registration process has been put in place in coordination with the Ben Guerdane hospital to ensure all new born babies are registered and provided with birth certificates.
  • A partnership between UNICEF Save the Children Fund to provide assistance to up to 1,600 families in need of support in the camps, providing breastfeeding and pregnant women, infants and young children with much needed services and supplies, such as screening and referral for health and nutrition, education, sanitation maintenance and cleaning, Child Friendly Spaces, psychosocial support and temporary learning centres, etc..

WASH

  • UNICEF continues to lead the WASH sector and is expanding its support sanitation activities, cleaning and disinfection of sanitary facilities, and vector control activities including disinfection, desensitisation (including scorpions) as well as snake bite prevention.
  • In response to the joint needs assessment between UNICEF, the Ministry of Public Health, WHO and UNHCR, UNICEF will supply 3 showers, 200 hygiene kits and 10 chemical latrines as a short term solution. The second phase response includes replacing of emergency type sanitary facilities with more durable solutions.

Health/Nutrition

  • The total number of consultation to date stands at 98,410.
  • UNICEF is supporting a weekly vaccination visits in the camps according to the Tunisian calendar for children and pregnant women. All unvaccinated children from 9 months to 14 years old will be vaccinated for measles.
  • An emergency health kit for 1,000 people for 3 months has been provided by UNICEF to the Regional Health authorities.

3. Egypt

According to IOM/OCHA figures, a total of 199,700 people have fled to Egypt, and the total population stranded in Salloum has decreased to 1,800 on 12 April. The reduction in numbers of children and families permits reorganisation of the shelter.

Child protection

  • 4 UNICEF supported animators continue to engage children in early child development and recreational activities within the child friendly space.
  • 4 additional social workers were trained and started working on 13 April, which brings the total number of social workers to 8.
  • The site has been screened to make sure that no families were staying without shelter.
  • UNICEF continues to support families through the provision of food, hygiene kits and other non-food items together with CRS, ERC and UNHCR.

WASH

  • UNICEF maintains the 100,000 litres of water supply to the facility.
  • Check-ups of the internal water distribution pipe network started on 13 April with UNICEF’s support.
  • UNICEF continues to work with local contractor to maintain the environment that is acceptably uncontaminated by solid waste.
  • UNICEF will put up 2 additional mobile toilets at the MarsaMatrouh Airport.

Health/Nutrition

  • UNICEF, in cooperation with the MoH team, continues its immunisation campaigns, and has conducted a round on 31 March, during which 86 children under 5 years (34 boys, 52 girls) received vaccinations for OPV, DPT-Hib B, and MMR. Another round was conducted on 12 April where 19 children under 5 were immunised for OPV, DPT-Hib, and MMR.
  • UNICEF continues to provide regular milk for a number of needy children and pregnant mothers, and complementary food to support children over 6 months as required.
  • UNICEF continues to screen immigrants and provide counselling, medical support and referrals to patients, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.