Over 16,000 Children Displaced Following Libya Floods: Unicef

(MENAFN- IANS) United Nations, Sep 29 (IANS) More than 16,000 children have been displaced in eastern Libya following the catastrophic floods triggered by Storm Daniel, with their psychosocial well-being at stake, the Unicef has said.

Many more children have also been affected due to lack of essential services, such as health, schooling and safe water supply, Xinhua news agency quoted Unicef as saying in a statement.

While the number of children among the casualties is not yet confirmed, the UN body fears hundreds of children may have died in the disaster, given that children account for about 40 per cent of the population, it said.

Significant damage to health and education infrastructure means children once again risk further disruption to their learning and the outbreak of deadly diseases.

Waterborne illnesses are a growing concern due to water supply issues, significant damage to water sources and sewer networks, and the risk of contamination of the groundwater. In Derna alone, 50 percent of water systems are estimated to have been damaged, the UN agency said.

Unicef claimed that it has been actively supporting the children in eastern Libya since day two of the crisis.

Sixty-five metric tonnes of relief supplies have been delivered to affected areas, including medical supplies for 50,000 people for three months, family hygiene kits for almost 17,000 people, 500 children's winter clothing sets, 200 school-in-a-box kits and 32,000 water purification tablets.

Unicef has also dispatched mobile child protection and psychosocial support teams to help children cope with the emotional toll of the disaster, it said.

Storm Daniel struck eastern Libya on September 10 and left widespread flooding and destruction in its wake across Derna, Albayda, Soussa, Al-Marj, Shahat, Taknis, Battah, Tolmeita, Bersis, Tokra and Al-Abyar.

Torrential rainfall and the collapse of two dams flooded the coastal city, sweeping entire neighbourhoods into the Mediterranean Sea.

Nearly 4,000 died in the floods and 9,000 more were still unaccounted for, according to the World Health Organization.




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