UNICEF: Children are the most affected by Libya floods

Children in Derna after the disaster had befallen the city. Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

UNICEF said in a report on Saturday that children were among the most affected, at heightened risk of public health threats, mental health and psychosocial disorders following the floods and destruction caused by Storm Daniel in eastern Libya.

Storm Daniel and ensuing floods hit eastern coastal cities, especially Derna, Al-Bayda and Al-Marj, on September 10 and 11. Two dams collapsed in Derna valley – an area locally known as Wadi Derna -, washing away entire neighborhoods and killing a number of entire families. The flood torrent obliterated around a quarter or the Mediterranean city of Derna, leaving thousands dead and missing.

The report said that 55 cases of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) among children displaced in shelters were reported by the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), while out of 43,059 internally displaced persons (IDPs) by the floods according to IOM-DTM, UNICEF estimated that at least 17,000 could be children.

UNICEF added that out of 114 schools, 4 were destroyed and 80 were partially damaged, adding that at least 19 schools were still used to shelter internally displaced population.

The report said that UNICEF had responded from day two following the floods in Derna and other eastern Libyan cities through its partner Libya Red Crescent and from day three through deployment of its teams and lifesaving supplies.

“UNICEF surged 5 national and 7 international staff in addition to the 9 staff already in Benghazi Field Office. UNICEF provided medical supplies for 15,000 people; hygiene kits for almost 1,000 people and clothing kits. 65 Metric tons of airlifted supplies are now also delivered to its partners in the East and are being distributed.” The report said.


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