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UNICEF appeals for $20 million for humanitarian operations in Libya and neighbouring countries

2011-05-17

Amman, 18 May 2011 - UNICEF appealed today for $20 million for humanitarian operations to address the needs of children and women inside Libya as well as those who have fled into neighbouring countries.  This appeal is part of the revised Regional Flash Appeal for the Libyan crisis launched today in Geneva.

"The more protracted the Libyan crisis becomes, the more the humanitarian situation of women and children will be of urgent concern," said Shahida Azfar, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Over the past three months, nearly 800,000 people have fled Libya into Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Niger, Chad and Sudan. As of mid-May, over one million people may have been affected by the conflict and need some form of humanitarian assistance.

UNICEF has responded to the needs of hundreds of families in the border camps, by providing safe drinking water and adequate sanitation, and making sure that children’s protection and health needs are met.

UNICEF has also sent emergency health kits to Eastern Libya from the early days of the crisis, and sent three boats to Misrata laden with life-saving supplies.

However, as the fighting inside Libya continues, the needs are becoming greater.

A significant part of UNICEF's planned operation in Libya is a $3 million programme in education which seeks to secure children’s right to education. UNICEF will work with partners in Libya to provide nation-wide technical guidance and support as schools reopen.

UNICEF will also work to support the health and education systems in Tunisia to meet the needs of Libyan refugees there.

“Children have been deeply affected by this conflict.  Their rights to learn, to play and to express themselves have been compromised.  UNICEF and partners are working to support the community in their solidarity to create safe spaces for all Libyan children,” said Azfar.

Support UNICEF's efforts in Libya dy donating to our Libya Crisis Children's Appeal.

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For more information, please contact:  Kathleen Powderley, Communications Specialist, UNICEF Canada,
416-803-5597, kpowderley@unicef.ca

For French media: Nancy Radford, UNICEF Canada, Manager, Communications Quebec, Tel:  514 288 5134 x8425;
Cell 514 232 4510, nradford@unicef.ca

About UNICEF
UNICEF is the world's leading child-focused humanitarian and development agency. Through innovative programs and advocacy work, we save children's lives and secure their rights in virtually every country. Our global reach, unparalleled influence on policymakers, and diverse partnerships make us an instrumental force in shaping a world in which no child dies of a preventable cause. UNICEF is entirely supported by voluntary donations and helps all children, regardless of race, religion or politics. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.