Libyan Health Minister Holds Emergency Meeting with WHO to Address Hospital Needs

Libyan Health Minister Holds Emergency Meeting with WHO to Address Hospital Needs
Libyan Health Minister Holds Emergency Meeting with WHO to Address Hospital Needs

Health Minister of the Libyan Parliament-designated government, Othman Abdel-Jalil convened an emergency meeting with the World Health Organization (WHO) in Derna.

The Ministry noted that WHO has made thorough preparations to supply urgent needs. This includes equipment and medications to several field hospitals, and operating rooms in various medical facilities to cope with the current emergency conditions.

The two sides discussed the provision of essential requirements for emergency hospitals during this critical period.

Dr. Rick Brennan from WHO said earlier that Libya is in dire need of urgent medical supplies, especially in some of its worst-hit regions like the city of Derna.

Brennan, who oversees the Emergency Programs at the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office, highlighted that many of Libya’s medical facilities were already underperforming, even before the storm’s onset. A substantial portion of these facilities had been grappling with issues like poor equipment, and staff shortages.

Brennan pointed out challenges in delivering aid to the regions most in need, stating, “The majority of the initial response to any significant crisis like this typically comes from the local community. However, we—the international community—need to rally behind them, providing extensive support commensurate with these immense needs.”

Notably, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has released an urgent appeal for $71.4 million dollars. The fund aims to address the immediate needs of Libyans devastated by recent catastrophic flooding. This call to action targets assistance for 250,000 individuals, out of an estimated 884,000 who might need aid in the coming three months.

OCHA reported on its website, that these funds will potentially be revised as more information becomes available.

The catastrophic floods have directly affected approximately 900,000 individuals in five provinces of war-torn Libya, although the impact varies. Areas most affected include Derna, Al-Bayda, Susa, Marj, Shahat, Tacnes, Batna, Talmita, Barsis, Tokra, and Abiar. Displaced victims are now seeking refuge in schools and hotels.

The United Nations, the European Union, the United States, and several Middle Eastern and North African countries have pledged support. They are sending rescue teams, emergency shelters, food supplies, water tanks, medical equipment, and additional body bags.