Sudan conflict forces more than 40,000 people into Libya

June 17, 2024 (TRIPOLI)- Over 40,000 Sudanese refugees and asylum-seekers have arrived in Libya following outbreak of conflict in Sudan, the United Nations said.

A statement from the UN World Food Programme (WFP) also warned of an impending humanitarian disaster if aid is not urgently provided to those in need.

Urgently required, the agency said in its latest bulletin, are needs for health and mental health services, food, shelter, household goods for the homeless, and logistical support.

Last month, WFP, on appealed for the joint Response Plan for Sudanese refugees in Libya (RPSL), seeking $ 43.8 million in funding, including $ 3.9 million for provision unconditional food assistance to an estimated 55,000 food-insecure Sudanese refugees and host communities in Libya.

The agency said it plans to implement a Blanket Supplementary Feeding Programme targeting 5,000 children under five and 5,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women and girls with ready-to-use supplementary food in addition to family food rations. This in response to the alarming nutritional challenges revealed by the recent UN Children Fund (UNICEF) nutrition screening in Al-Kufra which emphasize the need for immediate food and nutrition assistance.

However, to address the needs for Sudanese refugees in multiple locations, WFP enhanced its emergency food assistance contingency stocks by prepositioning 83 metric tons in both the Libyan capital, Tripoli and in the town of Benghazi.

WFP has also provided in-kind food assistance to 480 vulnerable migrants, expelled from Tunisia to the Libyan Border at Alassa, near Libya’s western border.

The estimated total number of Sudanese refugees in Libya’s Kufra city is 45,000.

Authorities, however, say it is difficult to know the exact number of these displaced people due to the continuing waves of people coming from war-torn Sudan.

Since mid-April 2023, the Sudanese army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have been engaged in a war that has left about 13,900 people dead and displaced more than 8.5 million Sudanese, according to the UN.

This makes it one of the biggest displacement crises since the second World War.

Mediation efforts have not succeeded in ending the war, which has entered its second year, leaving the country in a deteriorating humanitarian situation.