The United Nations is urgently requesting more than $71 million to provide assistance to those in dire need following the devastating flash floods that struck Libya over the weekend. A powerful storm, akin to a hurricane, named Storm Daniel, hit Libya on September 10, resulting in the tragic loss of at least 4,000 lives, with thousands more still unaccounted for.
In a prompt appeal issued on Thursday, the United Nations humanitarian agency, OCHA, anticipates that the death toll will continue to rise. Among the hardest-hit areas is the city of Derna, where two dams upstream burst on Sunday, rendering it a desolate wasteland. Preliminary estimates suggest that up to 30 percent of the city may have been obliterated, and due to the extensive road damage, local authorities are calling for the establishment of a sea corridor to facilitate relief efforts and evacuations. Furthermore, the entire seaside town of Sousse remains submerged.
Describing the situation as “catastrophic,” OCHA stated that its humanitarian partners require $71.4 million to address the “most pressing needs of 250,000 individuals out of an estimated 884,000 people who are believed to be in need.”
On Wednesday, Martin Griffiths, the head of UN OCHA, had announced an immediate emergency fund of $10 million. He emphasized, “Entire neighborhoods have been completely obliterated. Entire families, caught off guard, were swept away in the overwhelming floodwaters. Delivering life-saving supplies, preventing a secondary health crisis, and expeditiously restoring some semblance of normalcy must take precedence over any other concerns during this challenging period for Libya.”
Several countries, including the United States, European Union, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, and others, have already dispatched or pledged aid. Additionally, foreign search and rescue teams have been deployed to locate survivors and recover the deceased.