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One Month After Libya Floods: Urgent Mental Health Support Needed

Geneva/Beirut/Benghazi, 11 October 2023 — One month after devastating floods struck Libya, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the Libyan Red Crescent Society (LRCS) are urgently calling for support to meet immediate needs in clean water, sanitation, cash assistance, and crucially, psychosocial support. The floods have wreaked havoc, displaced thousands and straining already fragile infrastructures in regions such as Derna and Tobruk.

The disaster led to overwhelming destruction, with people losing homes, family members, and their sense of security. Libyan Red Crescent Society teams were the first responders, providing vital services from search and rescue to first aid. To date, 450 dedicated volunteers have been actively involved in these efforts, some even losing their lives while saving others.

Tamer Ramadan, IFRC Head of Delegation in Libya, said:

“The emotional and physical toll of this disaster has been immense. While we have been diligent in our immediate response, the recovery process is far from over. Attention must not wane.”

In Libya, the focus of aid is not just immediate relief but also long-term recovery. Cultural norms favor financial autonomy; hence cash assistance is essential. Furthermore, with damaged sewerage systems contaminating water sources in Derna, there’s a heightened risk to community health. Teams are also focusing on providing holistic psychosocial support, especially given the emotional toll of losing entire families.

The LRCS has been indispensable in relief efforts. With a central emergency operation room in Benghazi and two temporary centers in Derna, their services range from family reunification to relief item distribution. They’ve supported over 54,000 people through various services to date.

In light of the escalating needs, IFRC has officially launched an appeal for 10 million Swiss francs to support the ongoing efforts of LRCS in providing comprehensive aid and care for survivors. As of now, 3 million Swiss francs have been raised, leaving a crucial 70 percent of funding appeal yet to be met. Donations can be made through participating national societies and directly via the IFRC website.

More information

To fund the emergency appeal and support the people of Libya in their time of dire need, visit the IFRC website.

For b-roll footage, visit the IFRC newsroom.

To request an interview, contact: [email protected] 

 In Geneva:

Tommaso Della Longa: +41 79 708 43 67

Mrinalini Santhanam: +41 76 381 50 06

 In Beirut/Bengazhi:

Mey Alsayegh: +961 3 229 352

Source : IFRC

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Bobbie Bridges

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