Devastating Floods Slam Libya
On Monday, September 11, heavy rainfall brought by Storm Daniel caused two dams to burst in the city of Derna, destroying entire neighborhoods as well as major roads and bridges. The World Health Organization estimates nearly 4,000 people have died while other groups say the death toll is closer to 11,000. Thousands are injured or missing, tens of thousands have been displaced, and the damage is so severe there is no prospect of going back home.
“The death toll will increase and at least double for sure, but it could even quadruple given the force of the floods and the number of people still missing. Buildings where multiple generations of the same family all lived have been swept away. Drowned bodies are washing up on the roads, and every time the tide comes in it’s washing bodies back up. Buildings have collapsed and there are countless bodies in the rubble.
Lots of people are escaping the city, so Islamic Relief partners are starting to help people who have been displaced to a neighboring town and provide them with food and basic emergency shelter. But the numbers are staggering and much more aid is urgently needed.” – Salah Aboulgasem, Islamic Relief UK Deputy Director of Partner Development
On Tuesday, September 12, Islamic Relief launched an emergency response to provide emergency relief including food and essential non-food items, such as blankets and mattresses.
Focus on Libya
Political volatility, long-term effects of the pandemic, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have all stifled Libya’s economy. Over 50% of the youth population is unemployed, one of the highest rates in the world. To add, Libya is home to various vulnerable populations including over 300,000 internally displaced people and nearly 700,000 returnees, as well as many refugees and migrants. Unfortunately, access to basic services including healthcare, education, and proper housing is made extremely difficult for them.
Islamic Relief’s Dedication to Libya
Earlier this year, Islamic Relief committed to help families across Libya. In addition to our initial emergency response, our focus is on long-term development assistance to help pull vulnerable communities out of the cycle of poverty.
A few interventions include:
- Food aid
- Access to clean drinking water