CAIRO – A ship carrying vital food assistance from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) arrived in Misrata today. The ship, which was chartered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), is delivering more than 420 metric tons of food– enough to feed 25,000 people for one month. It is also carrying a WFP team, part of a UN interagency mission, which will conduct a rapid needs assessment of the humanitarian situation on the ground. WFP is concerned about food security in Libya as stocks are being consumed without adequate levels of replenishment.
- WFP’s food shipment to Misrata included 320 metric tons of wheat flour, 60 metric tons of pulses, 30 metric tons of vegetable oil, and 10 metric tons of High Energy Biscuits. Local partners on the ground such as the Libyan Red Crescent are distributing the food, to vulnerable groups - especially women and children.
- This is the fourth time that WFP has sent food assistance to Misrata since 7 April, delivering a total of more than 1,600 metric tons of food assistance to civilians trapped by the fighting. WFP has chartered another vessel which is due to reach Misrata in the next few days carrying more food assistance and providing transport for other humanitarian partners.
- WFP is extending its regional emergency operation for North Africa for three more months until the end of August, at an overall cost of US$100 million, targeting 1.5 million people affected by the violence in Libya and the neighbouring countries.
- In western Libya, WFP has moved food assistance from the Tunisian border to reach areas heavily affected by the fighting. The supplies have been distributed to around 29,000 people at various locations in the Western Mountains region. Insecurity and severe fuel shortages are hampering efforts to use this supply route.
- In eastern Libya, WFP has now reached more than 250,000 people - mainly internally displaced people, foreign migrants and other vulnerable groups with more than 1,800 metric tons of food assistance in 17 locations including Benghazi, Ajdabiya, Awjla, Jakharra, Sultan, Al Bayda, Jalu, Sulug, Tubruq, Dernah, and Al Marj, Al Kufra, Rebianah, Al Agourya, Al Abyar, Al Qubba, and Tazurbu.
- WFP has deployed experts on the ground in Libya to coordinate and strengthen logistics and telecommunications for the entire humanitarian community. This Special Operation is being extended for another three months at an overall cost of US$6.4 million. Emergency Telecommunications experts have also been working in Benghazi to provide data and computer and phone services, and reduce disruptions amid power cuts. The team has installed communications infrastructure for the UN compound in Benghazi and is preparing for the re-establishment of UN common premises in Tripoli.
- A three-month Special Operation for the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) has already provided over 15 flights between Malta, Cairo, Benghazi and Djerba, at a total cost of US$4 million. The operation is underfunded with a shortfall of close to US$3 million and may have to discontinue unless funds are mobilised.