WFP Responds to Devastating Floods in Libya

For the past week, Storm Daniel has moved across the Mediterranean leaving destruction in its wake. On Sunday night, the deadly storm hit Libya. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is on the ground responding to this emergency and assisting flood-affected families.

What Happened in Libya?

Storm Daniel triggered heavy flooding that has killed 2,000 people and left 10,000 missing in east Libya. On Sunday night, the floodwaters came and pummeled dams outside the city of Derna. Flash floods cascaded into the city and submerged entire neighborhoods. Roads and homes have been destroyed.

Photo: WFP/Zakaria Thaij/2021

Floods hit east Libya Sunday night and impacted over 10,000 people.

What Is WFP Doing to Help Survivors?

The U.N. World Food Programme is providing food assistance to 5,000 affected families. Distributions are underway in 16 locations in east Libya to families displaced by the catastrophic floods. The food basket for each family includes rice, pasta, wheat flour, sugar, white beans, tomato paste and oil.

Young boy in Libya

Photo: WFP/Zakaria Thlaij/2021

In emergencies like this, women and children are often at highest risk of experiencing extreme hunger.

Since 2018, the U.N. World Food Programme has been increasing its field presence in Libya and now reaches 90,000 people across the country every month. We have established partnerships with the government of Libya, international organizations, local NGOs, the private sectors and research institutes to assist people experiencing the most extreme forms of hunger in Libya.

WFP warehouse in Libya

Photo: WFP/Zakaria Thaij/2021

Within 72 hours of an emergency hitting, the U.N. World Food Programme can deploy relief teams and begin the first distributions of aid where it’s needed most.

Here’s What Else You Need to Know

  • In the first few hours and days after a disaster like the floods in Libya, we are often one of the first humanitarian organizations to distribute ready-to-eat foods to people facing the greatest need. Learn more about the type of food we deliver. 
  • WFP is the frontline agency responding to emergencies caused by conflict, climate shocks, pandemics and other disasters. Learn more about our emergency response programs.  
  • Unlike Libya, there are countries we don’t operate in but still provide emergency food assistance. First, we need to be invited in. Find out why and see what the first 72 hours of an emergency operation look like for WFP.
  • Years of political instability and the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic have left Libya in a fragile state of transition to peace and stability. Read about the state of hunger in Libya and our response.  

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