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WFP Ships More Food To Embattled Libyan Port

A ship carrying vital food assistance arrived Wednesday in the embattled Libyan city of Misrata. The ship, the fourth since the start of the crisis, delivered enough food to feed 25,000 people trapped by the fighting. WFP is extending its operation in Libya until the end of August, with the aim of reaching 1.5 million people.

CAIRO – The latest WFP food shipment into Misrata in northeastern Libya included enough wheat flour, pulses, vegetable oil and High Energy Biscuits (HEBs) to feed 25,000 people. The ship, chartered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), was also carrying a WFP team which will carry out a rapid needs assessment of the humanitarian situation as part of an inter-agency UN mission.

WFP is concerned about food security in Libya as stocks are being consumed without adequate levels of replenishment.

WFP’s food shipment to Misrata included 320 metric tons of wheat flour, 60 metric tons of pulses, 30 metric tons of vegetable oil, and 10 metric tons of High Energy Biscuits (HEBs). Local partners on the ground such as the Libyan Red Crescent are distributing the food, to vulnerable groups - especially women and children.

Return to Misrata

This is the fourth time that WFP has sent food assistance to Misrata since 7 April, delivering a total of more than 1,600 metric tons of food assistance to civilians trapped by the fighting. WFP has chartered another vessel which is due to reach Misrata in the next few days carrying more food assistance and providing transport for other humanitarian partners.

WFP is extending its regional emergency operation for North Africa for three more months until the end of August, at an overall cost of US$100 million, targeting 1.5 million people affected by the violence in Libya and the neighbouring countries.

In western Libya, WFP has moved food assistance from the Tunisian border to reach areas heavily affected by the fighting. The supplies have been distributed to around 29,000 people at various locations in the Western Mountains region. Insecurity and severe fuel shortages are hampering efforts to use this supply route.

In eastern Libya, WFP has now reached more than 250,000 people - mainly internally displaced people, foreign migrants and other vulnerable groups with more than 1,800 metric tons of food assistance.

Logistics and telecoms

WFP has deployed experts on the ground to coordinate and strengthen logistics and telecommunications for the entire humanitarian community. Emergency Telecommunications experts have also been working in Benghazi to provide data and computer and phone services, and reduce disruptions amid power cuts.

The team has installed communications infrastructure for the UN compound in the eastern city of Benghazi and is preparing for the re-establishment of UN common premises in Tripoli.

A three-month Special Operation for the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) has already provided over 15 flights between Malta, Cairo, Benghazi and Djerba.

The operation is underfunded with a shortfall of close to US$3 million and may have to discontinue unless funds are mobilised.