Aid organisations struggle to bring help to Libya

Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:29pm GMT

By Adam Tanner

RABAT (Reuters) - International aid organisations are struggling to deliver humanitarian aid supplies to areas of Libya most affected by fighting, but have managed to bring in a few shipments in low-profile operations, aid officials say.

Many officials say the most dire need is in Misrata, Libya's third largest city where the main hospital is inundated with wounded yet does nit have electricity or water.

Fighting between rebels in the city and government forces continues, with government snipers firing in the area around the hospital, witnesses say.

"The humanitarian situation is very difficult. With no water and electricity and difficulty in medical care. Life is becoming complicated," said Abdulbasset, a Libyan rebel spokesman in Misrata.

Duccio Staderini, deputy emergency coordinator for Medecins Sans Frontieres, said his group was able to land a boatload of medical supplies in Misrata on Monday night in a low-profile mission.

"We are in this difficult situation because we are not given access," he said by telephone from the Tunisian side of the Libyan border. "We are not able to speak clearly about our operations."

He did not say how his aid organisation loaded a boat with medical supplies for 300 people, but he said the journey to Misrata took a week.

The group is working on arranging other medical shipments to the city, although Libyan authorities have not granted permission for them to do so.   Continued...

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