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UNICEF appeals for $20.5 million for humanitarian operations in Libya and neighbouring countries

AMMAN, 18 May 2011 - UNICEF appealed today for $20 million for humanitarian operations to address the needs of children and women inside Libya as well as those who have fled into neighbouring countries.  This appeal is part of the revised Regional Flash Appeal for the Libyan crisis launched today in Geneva.

"The more protracted the Libyan crisis becomes, the more the humanitarian situation of women and children will be of urgent concern," said Shahida Azfar, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Over the past three months, nearly 800,000 people have fled Libya into Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Niger, Chad and Sudan. As of mid-May, over one million people may have been affected by the conflict and need some form of humanitarian assistance.

UNICEF has responded to the needs of hundreds of families in the border camps, by providing safe drinking water and adequate sanitation, and making sure that children’s protection and health needs are met.

UNICEF has also sent emergency health kits to Eastern Libya from the early days of the crisis, and sent three boats to Misrata laden with life-saving supplies.

However, as the fighting inside Libya continues, the needs are becoming greater.

A significant part of UNICEF's planned operation in Libya is a $3 million programme in education which seeks to secure children’s right to education. UNICEF will work with partners in Libya to provide nation-wide technical guidance and support as schools reopen.

UNICEF will also work to support the health and education systems in Tunisia to meet the needs of Libyan refugees there.

“Children have been deeply affected by this conflict.  Their rights to learn, to play and to express themselves have been compromised.  UNICEF and partners are working to support the community in their solidarity to create safe spaces for all Libyan children,” said Azfar.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

For further information, please contact:
Charbel Raji, UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa,
Tel + 962 79 731 5788,

Patrick McCormick, UNICEF New York,
Tel + 1 212 326 7426,




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