UN calls for humanitarian pause to evacuate trapped civilians and deliver humanitarian assistance

By Sami Zaptia.

London, 17 April 2019:

Ten days into the start of clashes in Tripoli, displacement numbers continue to steadily increase and a significant number of families who require evacuations cannot be reached, the latest UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) report says.

The report released yesterday says about 24,400 individuals have been displaced since the onset of fighting. This represents a 12-fold increase in the last nine days – from 7 April to 16 April. It warns that insufficient service availability of electricity, water and telecommunications in south Tripoli may trigger further displacement.

It says that despite the fact that about 1,400 requests have been received to evacuate people from conflict-affected areas, due to continued fighting and lack of a humanitarian pause, only 60 per cent of requests could be addressed.

The report says that protection concerns remain high for civilians trapped in conflict areas and first responders. About 1,100 refugees and migrants in the QBG and Gharyan Detention Centres (DCs) are at high risk and an additional 3,600 refugees and migrants in other Tripoli DCs could be at higher risk should the conflict escalate. It says 14 civilian fatalities including three medical staff, were reported since the onset of the fighting. 

Multi-sectoral assistance has been delivered to about 6,000 people, including food, shelter and NFIs, health services, WASH and protection services.

The report says that humanitarian access remains hampered by the continuous fighting which prevents humanitarian partners from reaching people in need of assistance and protection. It calls all parties to the conflict to abide by International Humanitarian Law and ensure civilians are protected from attacks and have access to medical facilities and humanitarian assistance. It also calls for a temporary humanitarian truce to allow the delivery of life-saving assistance.

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