Libya at risk of food crisis as domestic clashes continue

May 1, 2011 - 0:0

TRIPOLI (Xinhua) -- The World Food Program (WFP) on Thursday warned that Libya is at risk of a full-blown food security crisis within the next 45 to 60 days.

“The country's food security system has been severely disrupted and the country is unable to import enough food, due to disruption of port activities and the lack of fuel,” UN spokesman Farhan Haq said.
“It also says that immediate steps must be taken to increase the flow of commercial goods, to replenish stocks of food and inputs for local production, and to maintain social safety nets,” the spokesman added.
Humanitarian aid has arrived in the Libyan cities of Misrata and Benghazi over the last few days, the United Nations said Tuesday.
Meanwhile, fierce fighting continued between Libyan rebels and forces of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Government forces regained control Thursday over Dehiba-Wazin border crossing with Tunisia after violent clashes at the strategic Dehiba terminal, which was later retaken by the rebels.
Earlier in the day, heavy strikes had forced the rebels to flee to the Tunisian city of Dehiba which also saw mortar attacks by Gaddafi's forces.
A week ago, the terminal was under the rebels' control, causing about 100 pro-Gaddafi forces to flee the terminal to Tunisia.
In the southeast, both sides were also locked in heavy clashes in the town of Kufra on Thursday, with government forces bombarding the court's building in the town.
Rebel military leader Abdul-Fattah Younis on Thursday called on the West to deliver heavy weapons to rebels.
In the meantime, UN Security Council renewed the call for a political solution to end the continuing violence in Libya.
“We renew, all the members, our call for a political solution for the violence to stop and to see how a real verifiable ceasefire could be obtained,” said Nestor Osorio, the Colombian permanent representative to the United Nations who holds the rotating UN Security Council presidency for April.
Osorio also said the Security Council is “in general terms dismayed with the situation” in the North African country, adding Abdelilah Al-Khatib, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's special envoy to Libya, will travel to the rebel-held stronghold of Benghazi on Friday.
Earlier on Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu held a meeting with Al-Khatib, during which the two sides exchanged views on the situation in Libya.
Turkey is working on a “road map” which would include a ceasefire and the withdrawal of Gaddafi's forces from the besieged cities.
Turkey has repeatedly voiced its opposition to the West-led air strikes against Libya.