Devastating floods in Libya
Massive storm brings destruction, leaves families reeling.
On 10 September 2023, Storm Daniel made landfall in Libya causing severe weather conditions, including strong winds and sudden heavy rainfall affecting several areas in the country.
Massive flooding has killed more than 6,000 people, with hundreds more still missing. At least 43,000 people have been internally displaced and are being mainly hosted by relatives as well as in schools and public facilities.
In the immediate aftermath of any major climate disaster, search and rescue is the priority and the authorities are leading on search and rescue efforts in the country. UNICEF is mobilizing vital medical supplies, hygiene kits and clothing kits to support children and families whose lives have been devastated by the flooding. Donations can make an enormous difference in helping UNICEF to provide life-saving assistance.
Help children in Libya
What’s happening in Libya?
On 10 September 2023, Storm Daniel swept across eastern Libya, affecting most of the region where about 884,000 people live, including about 353,000 children. More than 6,000 people have been confirmed killed by the storm, which caused dams to burst and destroyed buildings in many towns, particularly in Al Bayda, Al Marj and in the coastal city of Derna. The storm also caused significant damage to critical infrastructure, including bridges, roads, and electricity grids.
The protracted political crisis and past conflict in Libya have had a significant impact on public services, particularly health, social protection and education services. For those already displaced and in need, this disaster compounds the loss and suffering.
How are the floods affecting children?
The children of Libya are facing yet another tragedy after over a decade of conflict. More than 350,000 children are estimated to have been exposed to the powerful storm. Beyond the immediate risks of death and injury, the floods in Libya pose a severe risk to children’s health and safety. With compromised safe water supplies, the chance of diarrhoea and cholera outbreaks, as well as dehydration and malnutrition, increase significantly. Meanwhile, children who lose their parents or become separated from their families are more exposed to protection risks, including violence and exploitation.
How is UNICEF responding?
UNICEF is engaged in the humanitarian response in Derna and most other affected areas, working in close coordination with the authorities and the UN country team. The priority is to scale up life-saving assistance, in particular providing health and water and sanitation supplies, psychosocial support, family tracing and preventing water borne diseases.
UNICEF has been actively supporting the children in Libya since 1957 and has mobilized vital supplies to support the immediate humanitarian response. These include essential medical supplies, hygiene kits, water treatment materials, as well as clothing kits for children. UNICEF has also established mobile child protection teams in collaboration with partners, who are conducting child protection screening and providing psychosocial support and activities.
How to help children in Libya
UNICEF requires at least $6.5 million for urgent lifesaving interventions and stands ready to support children and families in need of humanitarian aid in affected areas.
Global Humanitarian Thematic Funding
Flexible funding makes it possible for UNICEF to deliver assistance to the most vulnerable families when and where it is needed and in a timely and effective manner. For onset emergencies, flexible Global Humanitarian Thematic Funding (GHTF) allows UNICEF to rapidly release funds within 24 hours and react faster and equitably.