More than 500,000 children in need of humanitarian aid in Libya, UNICEF

LIbyan children play next to their house in Sirte , Libya, Monday. Sirte, the last city to fall during the revolution and former Gaddafi stronghold, still suffers the terrible effects of almost six weeks of fighting.
The ongoing conflict and the breakdown of the economy have left more than a half million children in need of humanitarian aid in Libya, according to the United Nations (UN) children’s agency.

“Six years since the crisis began in Libya, over 550,000 children need assistance because of political instability, ongoing conflict, displacement, and economic collapse,” Geert Cappelaere, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICF) Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said Thursday in a statement following his first visit to the country.

“Heavy violence in some parts of the country has forced families to flee their homes. More than 80,000 children are internally displaced and migrant children in Libya are particularly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation, including in detention centers,” he added.

Since 2011, UNICEF has been expanding its assistance to respond to children’s needs on the ground.