The French warship, Mistral with 51 tons of humanitarian aid docked in the Tunisian port of Zarzis as the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs launched an appeal for what is seen as a growing refugee crisis.
The UN’s emergency relief coordinator, Baroness Valerie Amos, outlined the importance of the appeal and the work to be completed.
“Much remains to be done in the days and weeks ahead, especially if the situation continues to deteriorate. The appeal we have just launched is an initial common humanitarian action plan among the aid agencies responding to the crisis,” she said.
The UN estimates around 400,000 will flee Libya, half that number have already left. Their projected figure for those who will stay and need aid is 600,000. The appeal is for 114 million euros.
The UN stressed that amount will only meet the needs of people caught in this crisis for the next three months while its expected the situation will continue longer than that. The UN is also effectively frozen out of sections controlled by Gaddafi and is only seeking humanitarian aid for opposition-controlled areas.