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Libya floods: DRC Danish Refugee Council is providing immediate relief and delivering Explosive Ordnance Risk Education

After the catastrophic floods in northeastern Libya there is still an enormous need for help. DRC Danish Refugee Council teams are mobilized around the clock to respond to the ongoing humanitarian response.

Posted on 27 Sep 2023

Two weeks after the deadly storm and subsequent flooding in northeastern Libya there is still an urgent need for protection, water, sanitation, hygiene, and shelter. Thousands of people are dead and missing and more than 40.000 have been displaced.   

DRC is setting up an office near Derna to increase logistical response capacity, and DRC has deployed a multi-sector team of 20-25 experts from Benghazi to Derna. This dedicated team includes four trained paramedics to bolster medical efforts, a Mobile Protection Team equipped with Psychological First Aid and Psychosocial Support expertise to address essential needs and offer Individual Protection Assistance, Cash for Protection, and a Rapid Protection Assessment.   

Half of Derna city is totally ruined, and the extent of the devastation will leave scars in the region for decades. The need for help is enormous. Countless people have lost all their belongings, and some have lost family members, while others are still looking for missing relatives. We are setting up an office near Derna to increase logistical response capacity. Our primary response is to help with protection, sanitation, hygiene, and shelter” says DRC Country Director Andrew Merat. 

In Benghazi DRC has rented an additional 1500 sqm of warehousing space to ensure efficient logistic capacity to deliver over 5000 individual and household emergency kits to affected families. An Emergency Coordinator from DRC global emergency response team has been deployed to support the response implementation. 

“DRC teams in both Tripoli and Benghazi are fully mobilized to support the ongoing humanitarian response in Derna. The teams have been working day and night. The DRC team in Tripoli has already packed and shipped 500 hygiene kits, 500 baby kits and 500 dignity kits and shipped them to northeastern Libya. DRC has also received shelter and Non-Food Item kits from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) that are currently being distributed in and around Derna in close collaboration with the Libyan Red Crescent. Technical sector specialists are to be deployed in the next two weeks”, says Emergency Coordinator Yaman Salam. 

Unexploded weapons pose a risk in the flooded areas 

In addition to the already critical situation in Derna and other northeastern cities, DRC and other organizations have concerns regarding the heightened risks of Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) due to landmine migration caused by the flooding. The Libyan Mine Action Center confirmed Tuesday that ERW have been spotted in Derna and other affected areas. Further information on the contamination status will be gained once DRC teams are starting non-technical surveys.  

“At DRC we have expertise in Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) and the HMA staff will deliver Explosive Ordinance Risk Education to at least 2,700 affected people in Benghazi and Derna and other affected areas to raise awareness of risks of explosive ordnance, and on measures which can be adopted to reduce exposure to risks. This will include verbal sessions and dissemination through public campaign by SMS and posters,” says DRC Head of Programmes, Sonia Joly. 

DRC is also delivering explosive ordnance risk education training for first aid respondents and humanitarian workers from other organizations that are involved in the emergency response. Till date, DRC has already provided these vital information sessions to close to 100 people from 14 different national and international organizations who are now responding to the emergency in Libya. 

DRC is coordinating with the National Mine Action Authority to scope out the potential of expanding EORE activities in other sites. Further DRC will engage with key stakeholders to start conducting non-technical survey (NTS) to identify the new contaminated area or changes in the contamination, and impacted populations by the threat of explosive ordnance (EO), aiming to survey 500,000 sqm. NTS, triangulated with threat assessment and reports from the local community, will be key to understanding further needs for Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) in a second phase of the response.  


For media inquiries, please contact:   

[email protected] or  +45 2811 6727  

About DRC Danish Refugee Council

Danish Refugee Council, DRC, is a leading, international humanitarian displacement organization, supporting refugees and internally displaced persons during displacement, in exile, when settling and integrating in a new place or upon return.

We provide protection and life-saving humanitarian assistance. We support displaced persons in becoming self-reliant and included into hosting societies - and we work with communities, civil society, and responsible authorities to promote protection of rights and peaceful coexistence. Founded in Denmark in 1956, 9,000 staff, 7,500 Volunteers. 

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