The United Kingdom (UK) has increased its financial support to the response to both the floods in Libya and the earthquake in Morocco, allocating a package worth up to £10 million, according to a statement issued by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office on Saturday.
The UK Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, Lord Ahmad, said it was harrowing to see the loss of life and scenes of devastation in Libya following the floods.
Storm Daniel hit eastern coastal cities, especially Derna, Al-Bayda and Al-Marj, on Saturday. Two dams collapsed in Derna valley, washing away entire neighborhoods and killing entire families. The flood torrent obliterated around a quarter or the Mediterranean city of Derna.
The mayor of Derna, Abdelmonem Al-Ghaithi, told Libya Alahrar TV that the number of deaths could reach as high as 18,000 to 20,000 based on the destroyed buildings and houses in the ravaged city. However, other estimates, especially the statement of the Health Minister of the east-based government, Othman Abduljalil, said the official records in eastern Libya had registered 3,166 deaths up until September 15.
The UK said it was committed to supporting the Libyan people during this extremely difficult time, adding that it would increase UK funding to the crisis response and deliver crucial life-saving provisions, including shelter, water filters and medical assessments.
“This additional support builds upon the initial package worth up to £1 million announced earlier this week (Wednesday 13th), which will be used to provide vital provisions including emergency shelter items, portable solar lanterns and water filters.” The statement reads.
The UK said it was also deploying an emergency medical team led by health and sanitation experts from NGO UK-MED to conduct rapid medical assessments in disaster-affected areas.
“The Emergency Medical Team will coordinate with local authorities, international organisations and other EMT partners on the ground to understand the immediate and growing humanitarian health needs in Libya following the devastating storms.” It added.