WFP requires funds in Libya as humanitarian needs rise
TRIPOLI/TUNIS – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is facing a funding shortfall in Libya that risks the continuation of its operations supporting the most vulnerable communities inside the country.
“The conflict is becoming even more dire and is further destabilizing the economy, making it harder for vulnerable populations,” said WFP Representative and Country Director in Libya Samer AbdelJaber. “It is at times like these that people need to be able to rely on regular food assistance.”
In Libya, WFP provides monthly and emergency food assistance to 100,000 internally displaced people, returnees, and host communities, as well as 25,000 migrants living in urban settings. With lead time for international procurement and dispatch of food commodities exceeding three months, sustained funding is key to WFP’s ability to continue to provide regular food assistance. Without additional funding, WFP’s capacity to address any additional caseload is limited. WFP is part of the United Nations Rapid Response Mechanism, an inter-agency effort to ensure that newly displaced populations receive emergency assistance within 72 hours.
WFP requires a total of US$7.4 million to run its operation in Libya through August 2020. Some vital interventions such as food assistance to migrants living in urban settings need immediate funding to continue beyond April.
WFP in Libya is also focusing on resilience-building activities aimed at the empowerment of women and youth, and manages operations that sustain the larger humanitarian and donor response in Libya, including the UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS), and the leadership of the Logistics and Emergency Telecommunications Sectors and co-leadership of the Food Security Sector.
“Through strategic partnerships, we work hand in hand with Libyan communities to help the country recover. Without additional support, our assistance suffers,” AbdelJaber added.
Nine years of conflict in Libya have taken their toll on the country’s security, economy and humanitarian situation. The continued violence between multiple factions further aggravates an already unstable environment, with continuous political rivalries and violent struggles within the country.
The recent intensification of the conflict is worsening an already precarious economic situation. The disruption of oil production, a key component of Libya’s economy, is likely to increase the number of people needing support. Food insecurity remains a challenge due to protracted displacement, disruption to markets, and dwindling food production.
“I am struck by the plight of tens of thousands who have suffered because of the escalating conflict, especially displaced Libyans and many other vulnerable people,” said UN Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Libya Yacoub El Hillo. “Food is a basic need that must be met, and WFP’s programmes are saving the lives of thousands of displaced and returnee Libyans, host communities, and the most vulnerable migrants living in urban settings.”
According to the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan for Libya, 900,000 people in the country need humanitarian assistance. Of these, 336,000 are food insecure, 65 percent of which are Libyans – whether displaced, returnees, or host communities – and the remaining 35 percent are migrants and refugees.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
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