Urgent Humanitarian Action Needed Following Storm Daniel and Flooding in Libya

Statement from Refugees International’s Senior Advocate and Program Manager for Climate Displacement Jocelyn Perry:

“Storm Daniel dropped nearly a year’s worth of rain on parts of Libya in under 24 hours, triggering flash flooding worsened by the collapse of two dams. More than 6,000 people have been killed, a number expected to rise with at least 10,000 more still missing and tens of thousands displaced. Some of the most affected areas are still inaccessible, and humanitarian assistance is urgently needed.

Similar storms are predicted to increase in severity as climate change worsens. Storm Daniel also caused some of the worst flooding ever experienced across southern Europe: a reminder that the effects of climate change cross national and continental borders and must be addressed as a global community.

Further, the devastation of Storm Daniel was due not only to the storm’s worsened effects from climate change, but also poorly maintained infrastructure that led to the collapse of dams, roads, and homes. Ongoing conflict, instability, and divided governance in Libya have harmed both the physical and social resilience of communities around the country.

Immediate humanitarian aid must be provided to the hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people as well as to transiting migrants and refugees to meet their essential needs. Governments must also prioritize those affected for immediate resettlement and humanitarian admissions and other relevant complementary pathways, as many individuals awaiting decisions are now displaced yet again and facing increasingly dire conditions.

To reduce the impact of future storms, Libya must adopt a National Adaptation Plan under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and access more financing from the Green Climate Fund. Finally, internally displaced populations, refugees, and migrants must participate and be considered as beneficiaries in long-term adaptation planning for it to ultimately succeed.”

To schedule an interview, please contact Refugees International’s Vice President for Strategic Outreach Sarah Sheffer at ssheffer@refugeesinternational.org.

Featured Image: Men walk past destruction caused by flash floods in Derna, eastern Libya, on September 11, 2023. (Photo by AFP via Getty Images)