UN coordinates relief assistance for refugees from Libya

UN coordinates relief assistance for refugees from Libya
# 04 March 2011 05:05 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Thursday mobilized regional and UN organizations in a coordinated effort to bring relief to thousands of people who are still stranded or have fled the fighting in Libya, a spokesman said, APA reports quoting Earth Times.

Ban planned to appoint a special envoy to be responsible for the coordinated relief efforts.

Ban "emphasized that political change must be locally owned and locally led," spokesman Martin Nesirky said. "He stressed the need to monitor the situation as it evolves."

Nesirky said Ban conferred by telephone with senior officials of the League of Arab States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the International Organization for Migration, the European Union, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe and the Council of Europe.

The UN office for Humanitarian Affairs, the World Health Organization, the World Food Programme, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Development Programme, UNICEF, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Political Affairs were also involved in the effort.

Nesirky said the African Union leadership was unable to join the call, but offered its support.

He said participating organizations "urgently appealed to Libyan authorities to allow immediate and unimpeded access into Libya to determine humanitarian needs and provide assistance inside the country should it be required, including in the west."

The UN estimated some 180,000 people have fled Libya and thousands of foreign migrant workers remained stranded at the Libyan border with Tunisia.