UN Launches $71 million Urgent Appeal For Libya Flood Victims

A flash flood-damaged area is pictured in Derna on September 14, 2023. A global aid effort for Libya gathered pace on September 14 after a tsunami-sized flash flood killed at least 4,000 people, with thousands more missing, a death toll the UN blamed in part on the legacy of years of war and chaos. (Photo by Abdullah DOMA / AFP)

After fatal flash floods ripped through Libya over the weekend, the UN is urgently seeking more than $71 million to aid families in need.

Hurricane-strength Storm Daniel hit Libya on September 10, killing at least 4,000 people and leaving thousands more missing.

The United Nations humanitarian agency OCHA said in a rapid appeal Thursday that it expects the death toll to climb.

Derna, one of the hardest-hit areas, was reduced to a wasteland after two upstream dams failed on Sunday.

According to OCHA, 30 percent of the city may have vanished, and with most roads collapsed, local officials are seeking for the establishment of a sea corridor for relief and evacuations.

The entire seaside town of Sousse meanwhile remains submerged.

Calling the situation “catastrophic”, OCHA said its humanitarian partners need $71.4 million to respond to the “most urgent needs of 250,000 people targeted out of the 884,000 people estimated to be in need”.

On Wednesday, UN OCHA head Martin Griffiths had announced an immediate emergency fund of $10 million.

“Entire neighbourhoods have been wiped off the map. Whole families, taken by surprise, were swept away in the deluge of water,” he said in a statement.

“Getting lifesaving supplies to people, prevent a secondary health crisis, and swiftly restore some kind of normality must override any other concern at this difficult time for Libya.”

The United States, European Union, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and several other countries have also already sent or pledged aid, while foreign rescue teams have been deployed to search for survivors and recover bodies.

Written by PH

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