The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is distributing food in eastern Libya for the first time since last June to provide one-month’s assistance over the coming four weeks to nearly 80 000 displaced people in and around Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city.
“Libyans who have had to flee their homes and are now displaced, especially in Benghazi, are suffering the consequences of the ongoing conflict,” said WFP’s Country Director for Libya, Wagdi Othman. “This winter, they are living under dire conditions without food, medical care or electricity and are in desperate need of assistance.”
WFP is providing each household with a family ration that includes pasta, couscous, rice and other food items. The ration is enough to feed a family of five for one month.
WFP had dispatched the food over the past two weeks across the Egyptian border to the warehouse of its distribution partner LibAid. The Libyan relief organisation is carrying out the food distributions to families who have left their homes in eastern Libya, particularly Benghazi, which has been hard hit by conflict for more than a year.
In 2016, through its partner, WFP plans to reach at least 70 000 people each month in Libya. This includes internally displaced people, host communities, refugees and asylum seekers. WFP plans to gradually increase its capacity in the country, as it receives more funding, to eventually reach as many as 210 000 people by the final three months of this year.
WFP relies entirely on voluntary contributions to finance its humanitarian and development projects. In 2016, WFP needs to raise US$29 million to be able to continue to help the most vulnerable in the country.
In 2015, WFP reached over 290,000 people across Libya with food assistance, but had to suspend distributions from September to November due to lack of funding.