Thousands Missing, Lives Lost In Libya Flood
More than 5,000 people have died in Libya flood disaster. Here’s how you can help
After Tropical Storm Daniel broke through two dams that protected Libya’s eastern coastal city Derna from flooding, more than 10,000 people are believed to be missing. In Libya, the floods have been estimated to have released 30 million cubic meters of water, washing entire neighborhoods away. Other cities in the northeast have also been affected.
“In Libya, there are a great deal of deaths,” said Tamer Ramadan, head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) delegation.
There are approximately 90,000 people living in Derna, which is located on the Mediterranean coast.
Thousands of people were killed and entire villages destroyed in an earthquake that struck Morocco, another country in North Africa, just days earlier.
The epicenter of the flood disaster in Libya lies in areas controlled by Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army. However, aid workers and Libyan observers fear that the fractured political system in the country will hamper relief efforts.
Between 2014 and 2020, Libya was the site of protracted fighting and a six-year civil war. It is divided between rival governments, with Haftar controlling the east and Abdulhamid Dbeibeh in charge of the west.
According to Mary Fitzgerald, a Libya specialist at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C., the collapse of the dams on the outskirts of Derna is likely the result of poor maintenance. Despite many Libyans raising concerns about Libya’s deteriorating infrastructure in recent years, the country’s rival political factions have paid little attention to it.
The city of Derna was besieged by Haftar in 2017, which he captured in 2019. According to Abdulkader Assad of the Libya Observer, “Derna is still devastated from the war, which destroyed many areas of the city.” As this hasn’t happened before and the eastern government does not have the necessary relief teams, I am very worried about aid getting through.”
However, humanitarian workers have highlighted ways to aid flooding victims in Libya. Here are a few charities currently operating there.
Worldwide Islamic Relief
The Islamic Relief Worldwide has launched an appeal to raise funds to help Libyans impacted by the floods. They have already committed £100,000 ($125,000) to providing emergency assistance to families. They are working with local partners to provide food, blankets, mattresses, and other aid. You can find out more about how to donate here.
The UK’s relationship with Libya
You can donate to the organization here through their gofundme page or learn more about it here. Libya in the UK is an organization run by Libyans living in Britain. They directly collaborate with the Libyan Red Crescent, which is currently operating in the country.
The @UN is calling deadly floods in #Libya a “calamity of epic proportions” noting the latest figures suggesting more than 5,000 people dead and about 10,000 who have been reported missing.#LibyaFloods #LibyaFlood pic.twitter.com/u66syqmM82
— BBC News Africa (@BBCAfrica) September 13, 2023
You can find out more about CARE’s donation options here. CARE is an international humanitarian organization that provides humanitarian relief during crises. They have been operating in Libya since 2021.
Medical Corps International
Those affected by the flooding can receive shelter, mobile health systems, water, sanitation, and hygiene resources from an international medical corps team in Libya. In partnership with the Libyan Ministry of Health and local organizations, the International Medical Corps’ Emergency Response Unit conducts assessments to determine if further assistance is needed. Donate here.
FIFRC is the international federation for the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
During the Libyan civil war, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies provided rehabilitation and economic assistance in Tripoli, Misrata, and Benghazi.
“#Libya is facing a large-scale devastating disaster, and while efforts are huge, the challenges and needs are far greater than what can be met by the current effort. Ramadan of the IFRC wrote in a post on X that international actors need to step up to support @LibyaRC and the Libyan people.
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