UN, Libya launch major funding drive for over half million people

UNITED NATIONS� The United Nations and the Libyan government launched a 202-million-U.S.-dollar fund drive for health support, shelter and education for more than 550,000 people, a spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said.

The 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan for the country is seeking 202 million U.S. dollars to provide health support, protection, water and sanitation, shelter and education to support more than 550,000 vulnerable people, Stephane Dujarric, the spokesman, told reporters at a regular briefing.

Instability and insecurity over the last seven years have taken a heavy toll on the well-being of tens of thousands of children, women and men in Libya, with thousands of families unable to afford food, water and basic household items, Dujarric said.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports at least 823,000 people across Libya, including a quarter of a million children, are in need of humanitarian assistance, he said.

The spokesman said the vulnerable include internally displaced people and returnees, conflict-affected people, host communities, refugees and migrants who face grave human rights violations and abuse in the absence of the rule of law.

The World Health Organization warned Tuesday of increasing attacks on health facilities and workers, he said. The UN agency has documented more than 41 attacks targeting health workers and facilities across the country over the past year.

These attacks resulted in six health workers and patients being killed and 25 health workers injured, the spokesman said. An additional seven health workers were also assaulted during the period.

Libya remains splintered even though a Government of National Accord (GNA) was formed in 2014 after a renewed civil war. The North African nation's several large areas remain out of the control of the GNA.

Meanwhile in Libyan capital TRIPOLI, Interior Minister Fat'hi Bashagha stressed the importance of Libyan security for the Mediterranean countries.

Bashagha made his remarks during a meeting with Spanish Ambassador to Libya Francisco de Miguel, according to a statement issued by the Interior Ministry.

Bashagha stressed that achieving security enhances political stability, and that it is important for all countries of the Mediterranean, the statement said.

The Spanish ambassador highlighted the Spanish government's appreciation of the Libyan Interior Ministry's efforts to achieve security, and stressed its support for the Libyan government, the statement added.

Libyan authorities have been struggling to achieve security in the country, which is still suffering political division and chaos.