Over 2,300 lives have been lost, and over 10,000 people are missing following Tropical Storm Daniel’s breach of two dams protecting the eastern Libyan city of Derna from flooding. It is estimated that around 30 million cubic meters of water inundated Derna, causing extensive damage to the city and affecting other northeastern areas of Libya.
Tamer Ramadan, the head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) delegation in Libya, expressed deep concern about the significant loss of life during a press conference in Geneva.
Derna, a coastal city on the Mediterranean, is home to about 90,000 residents.
This catastrophe occurred shortly after a 6.8 magnitude earthquake struck Morocco, claiming the lives of at least 3,000 people and devastating entire villages in North Africa.
However, aid workers and Libya observers are worried that political divisions within the country will hinder relief efforts. The flood’s epicenter is in areas controlled by Commander Khalifa Haftar and his Libyan National Army. Libya experienced a prolonged civil war from 2014 to 2020, leaving the country divided between rival administrations, with Haftar in the east and the U.N.-backed Government of National Unity, led by Abdulhamid Dbeibeh, in the west.
Derna had already suffered from the war, with significant areas of the city in ruins. Abdulkader Assad, a political editor at the Libya Observer, expressed concern about the delivery of aid, emphasizing the need for international assistance.
Despite these challenges, humanitarian organizations are actively working to help flood victims in Libya. Here are some charities currently assisting:
- Islamic Relief Worldwide: Islamic Relief Worldwide has initiated an appeal for financial support to aid those affected by the floods in Libya. They are collaborating with local partners to provide essential supplies like food, blankets, mattresses, and more. They have committed an initial £100,000 ($125,000) for emergency assistance. For donation details, visit their website.
- Libya in the UK: This charity, run by Libyan youth living in Britain, is working closely with the Libyan Red Crescent on the ground in Libya. You can make a donation through their GoFundMe page or learn more about their efforts on their website.
- CARE International: CARE International, an international humanitarian organization, has been operating in Libya since 2021. Visit their website for information on how to support their relief efforts.
- International Medical Corps: The International Medical Corps has a team in Libya providing shelter, mobile health services, water, sanitation, and hygiene resources to flood-affected individuals. They are collaborating with Libya’s Ministry of Health and local organizations. You can donate to their cause through their website.
- The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies: This organization has been actively involved in post-war rehabilitation and economic support in Tripoli, Misrata, and Benghazi. They are in dire need of support to address the massive disaster in Libya. Donations can be made on their website.
The situation in Libya is dire, and international assistance is crucial to alleviate the suffering of those affected by the flooding. Your support can make a significant difference in this time of crisis.
You can donate to the IFRC’s work in Libya here.