The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has provided vital food assistance to nearly 3,000 displaced people stranded in the harsh Libyan desert as they struggle to return to their hometown of Tawargha, in Western Libya.
Many Tawarghan families, displaced by internal conflict since 2011, have been trying to go home. But in early February, armed groups blocked returnees from entering Tawargha, despite an agreement promising safe return. Large numbers are now stranded in makeshift shelters in the desert, while others have found temporary refuge with host families in nearby areas.
With the help of our Libyan partner, the Sheikh Taher Azzawi Charity Organization (STACO), WFP has delivered food to nearly 3,000 Tawarghan people stranded in the desert area of Qararat Al Gotf. Each WFP food ration contains a month's supply of rice, pasta, wheat flour, chickpeas, vegetable oil, sugar and tomato paste for a family of five.
"The people there are suffering from harsh winter weather and a lack of access to all necessities, including food," said WFP Libya Country Director Richard Ragan. "We will continue to work with the Libyan authorities and humanitarian partners to coordinate efforts and provide crucial life-saving support to all stranded families."
The humanitarian situation in Libya remains fragile due to ongoing conflict, political instability, and the disruption of markets and local food production, all of which damage families' livelihoods and their ability to meet basic needs.
Overall, in 2018, WFP aims to assist 123,000 Libyans who are struggling to feed themselves. Priority is being given to the most vulnerable families affected by the conflict.