Caritas agencies respond to devastating flooding in Libya
13 Sep 23
Caritas agencies are responding to the devastating flooding in Libya, where over 5,300 lives have
been lost and over 10,000 people are missing.
Heavy storms from Cyclone Daniel caused two dams to burst, sweeping entire neighbourhoods
from the city of Derna into the sea. The storms also caused severe weather conditions including
strong winds and sudden heavy rainfall, causing widespread damage to homes and
“The situation in Libya is disastrous, with reports of entire neighbourhoods being swept away in
some areas. People impacted by these floods will have immediate need of emergency shelter,
access to clean drinking water, food and medicine. Caritas agencies are working to assess the
damage and get help to those who need it most,” said Melville Fernandez, Caritas Australia's
Humanitarian Emergencies Associate Director.
Telecommunications have been interrupted, roads have been destroyed, and electricity towers
have toppled, hampering rescue efforts and causing further hardship for survivors. There are
reports from Derna of no clean drinking water and a lack of medical supplies, with the city's
hospital overwhelmed with dead bodies.
Pope Francis expressed his “…heartfelt spiritual closeness to the injured, to those who fear for
their missing loved ones and to the emergency personnel providing rescue and relief assistance.”
Libya has been in a state of civil war since 2011, which has led to a significant loss of life and has
forced many people to flee from their homes and become displaced. Despite a ceasefire since
2020, there is still political instability, as well as damage and disruption to infrastructure.
Libya is also a transit country for migrants and asylum seekers, with numbers increasing recently
due to the conflict in Sudan.
The flooding emergency will make an already dire situation worse, while increasing the
vulnerability of thousands, as scarce resources are pushed beyond breaking point.
Immediate needs include getting essentials like food, clean water, emergency shelter and
medicine to families affected by the flooding, while preparing for the long-term needs of people
who no longer have homes to return to.
Caritas agencies in the region are assessing the scale of the damage and are coordinating with
local authorities and other organisations to see how they can best assist. Your generous support
can help provide emergency relief to help families recover and rebuild from disaster.
Visit https://www.caritas.org.au/libya or call 1800 024 413 toll free to provide much needed
support to families affected by the Libya floods.
CONTACT: Mark Harding 0422 531 587 / firstname.lastname@example.org