The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Libya has announced the distribution of relief materials to those affected by floods in the city of Derna.
It confirmed the distribution of mattresses, blankets, solar lamps, dignity kits, kitchen sets, jerry cans, and plastic sheeting to more than 1,932 flood victims in Wadi Al-Nagaah, in the city of Derna.
The IOM emphasized its “commitment to providing the essential relief materials that constitute a lifeline for families affected by the floods, which have swept through cities in eastern Libya.”
In the wake of storm Daniel striking northeastern Libya on 10 September, the city of Derna experienced catastrophic flooding, resulting in a significant humanitarian crisis. The IOM has been actively involved in relief efforts, distributing non-food items to nearly 3,000 migrants affected by the floods. However, the scale of the disaster is immense, with reports indicating that more than 30,000 people have been displaced.
The flooding in Derna has led to a staggering death toll, with conflicting reports on the exact numbers. The Libyan Red Crescent reported that 11,300 people died in Derna alone, while the World Health Organization (WHO) reported 4,345 deaths and more than 8,500 missing as of 12 October. The UN system has responded by providing aid and deploying a disaster assessment team to support government response and relief operations.
The IOM has called for an immediate scale-up of donor funding, estimating a need for $22 million dollars, to urgently accelerate early recovery efforts in the areas devastated by the storm. As of the latest reports, only about 30% of this required funding has been secured. The flooding has affected several cities, including Benghazi, Al-Bayda, Marisa, Susa, and Derna, with Derna being particularly hard-hit. Authorities in eastern Libya are eager to rebuild the town as swiftly as possible, after the flood destroyed an estimated 20% of the port city.
In the six weeks following the floods, humanitarian partners have reached 164,000 people with assistance, but the long-term recovery process is expected to be challenging. The flooding, marked by the breaching of two dams in heavy rains, underscores the vulnerability of infrastructure in Libya and the profound impact of extreme weather events, which are exacerbated by climate change.
The broader context of this disaster is framed by years of instability in Libya, which has complicated both the immediate response, and the ongoing recovery efforts. The international community’s involvement, including IOM’s relief distributions and calls for funding, as well as the UN’s support, represents a collaborative effort to address the urgent needs of those affected while planning for the reconstruction and resilience of the region against future disasters.