Libyan leaders agree historic Humanitarian Appeal for Benghazi

A wide spectrum of influential figures from Benghazi, including key political, social and community leaders, have today endorsed a historic Humanitarian Appeal for Benghazi.

Through this Appeal, they commit themselves to establishing the necessary conditions for the safe delivery of humanitarian assistance and providing security guarantees for humanitarian workers. In return, they are calling for a significant increase in assistance without preconditions, discrimination or delay from the international community in order to address the pressing and dire humanitarian needs of the civilian population in the city.

The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), which supported the process leading to this Appeal, commends them for uniting behind this humanitarian call, despite the ongoing conflict. The Appeal demonstrates their deep concern and sense of responsibility, and their true desire to see an improvement to the terrible living conditions of the civilian population of Benghazi.

“Libyans of all stripes have joined this Appeal. They have taken a difficult step in not allowing their differences to overshadow their common humanity and feelings for their fellow citizens.” said David Harland, HD’s Executive Director. “The international community must now step up and respond urgently to this Appeal.” he added.

Importantly, those who have endorsed the Appeal, have also recognised, through this call, that a longer-term process of reconciliation is needed in order to ensure a return to stability and, in this light, have committed to:

  • Working towards social peace, based upon tolerance and according to the principles of Islam;
  • Establishing a system of transitional justice, which will help heal the wounds of the victims of the conflict and facilitate social reconciliation and a return to stability.

The Appeal is an important step in an on-going process supported by HD to improve humanitarian access to, and humanitarian conditions in, the city of Benghazi. HD hopes that this call will also be an important step towards an end to the crisis in the city and to the tragic conflict which continues to afflict Libya today.

The conflict in Benghazi has so far cost almost 10’000 lives and has injured more than twice that number. Almost half the population of the city has been displaced, and many are now living in difficult conditions without access to proper shelter, sanitation and healthcare. The return of the displaced is hampered by the presence of mines and unexploded ordinance, as well as the ongoing fighting in areas of the city.

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The Humanitarian Appeal for Benghazi is available below in three languages.

The list of those who have endorsed the Appeal as of 16 March 2016 is also available below

For more information, please contact: Mr Chris Thornton via phone:  +41 79 703 52 67, or via email:pr(at)hdcentre.org

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