Devastating floods in Libya
Two months after massive storm, families are still reeling.
Updated 8 November 2023
On 10 September 2023, Storm Daniel made landfall in Libya, bringing severe weather conditions, including strong winds and sudden heavy rainfall that affected several areas in the country. The massive flooding killed more than 4,300 people, while more than 8,500 are still missing. Thousands more families have been affected due to the impact on essential services such as health, schooling and safe water supply.
UNICEF is a key partner in the government-led initiation of early recovery efforts. Working with partners, UNICEF is focused on restoring basic services, including reopening of schools, reestablishing primary care services, and maintaining water and sanitation networks.
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 4,300 people were 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?
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, working in close coordination with the authorities. 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.
Working with partners, UNICEF has:
- Delivered millions of litres of safe drinking water via water trucking.
- Reached thousands of children, adolescents and caregivers with community-based mental health and psychosocial support.
- Delivered essential and lifesaving supplies to ensure the availability of key services in targeted hospitals.
- Taken a range of measures to reactivate and rehabilitate water infrastructure in storm affected areas.
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 is revising its humanitarian response appeal of $6.5 million to integrate initial recovery efforts with a focus on education, health and water.
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.