UNSMIL humanitarian coordinator demands access to Derna

Maria Do Valle Ribeiro – The UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya. (Photo: Internet)

The humanitarian coordinator at the UNSMIL, Maria Ribeiro, said in a statement on Thursday that the humanitarian community in Libya is perturbed by the continued lack of humanitarian access and subsequent assistance into Derna despite repeated requests.

“Humanitarian actors have not been allowed to deliver life-saving assistance to Derna such as supplies to support medical facilities and other basic services as well as to provide food and non-food items to those in need. Shortages in medicine and medical supplies are reaching critical levels and the first food shortages are being reported.” She added.

“I call on all parties to immediately allow safe and unfettered access to Derna for humanitarian actors and urgently needed humanitarian goods,” Ms. Ribeiro said. “We need to be able to assist people in need without delay to prevent further loss of life” UNSMIL reported Maria as saying.

The continued encirclement of Derna and the escalation of conflict is having a devastating impact on civilians who fear for their lives. Reports refer to at least one child killed and hundreds of families who have fled their homes, according to the statement.

“All parties need to meet their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law and ensure the protection of civilians from attack and their freedom of movement, including facilitating the safe exit of those wishing to leave the city. All parties must also ensure the safety and sanctity of health infrastructure and health workers.” Ribeiro added.

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