These extensive military attacks with aerial bombing and regular use of live ammunition against the civilian population have caused myriad casualties leaving many dead and even more injured. Increasing numbers of military and police personnel have defected from the government forces with rising numbers of Libyan diplomats also resigning from their posts. While much of the country has fallen to the ‘rebels’, Tripoli remains under government control with fierce fighting and blockades stopping all movement either into or out of the city.
According to several speeches made by both the Libyan leader and his son, the country is heading to a civil war thus hinting at increasingly violent action to maintain control of the country. The effect would likely be a further deterioration of both security and food security situations with resonating effects in Libya as well as neighbouring countries.
Similarly the first reports of serious food shortages in Libya are now surfacing particularly for vulnerable groups such as young children and pregnant / lactating women, most probably due to the inability to import food and the disruption of transport routes.
WFP is already assessing the longer-term effects on people’s food security situation in Tunisia, following a request from the Government (GoT). As for Libya, the ongoing strife could result in humanitarian needs within Libya as well as for people crossing to Tunisia and Egypt. While much of this need will be short-term as migrant workers transit back to their home country, there is a major risk that Libyans fleeing the fighting may have to stay in displacement much longer, either within their own country or as refugees in the neighbouring countries of Tunisia and Egypt. Both neighbouring countries are already in challenging positions to provide support given their own recent revolutions. The longer the conflict within Libya lasts, the more the situation is likely to deteriorate with people unable to meet their food requirements. Duration of assistance: 24 February – 24 March 201.