The United Kingdom announced an increase in aid to Libya following floods that resulted in thousands of casualties, reports Al Arabiya, September 20.
Flooding was caused by two dams bursting in Derna, a port city in the eastern part of the country. The death toll was confirmed at 11,300 as the search for the thousands missing continues.
The Director of Al-Bayda Medical Centre, Abdul Rahim Maziq, fears that the death toll could reach up to 20,000.
The UK announced that it would be given £1 million in humanitarian aid to the disaster-stricken country.
British Armed Forces played a vital role in the toppling of tyrant, Muammar Gaddafi in the 2011 Libyan civil war when David Cameron was Prime Minister. UK officials have visited the North African country on multiple occasions since then, including Cameron who has been welcomed twice.
In an interview with Saudi news outfit, Al Arabiya, Lord Ahmad said, “This is a crisis not just for Libya and those families impacted but for all of us.”.
Lord Tariq Ahmad was appointed as the United Kingdom’s Minister of State for the Middle East and North Africa in 2017 by then Prime Minister, Theresa May.
The baron noted that the UK has increased its funding to Libya as well as collaborating with United Nations agencies and the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC).
The initial aid given to the country was for essentials such as sanitation, food and drink, as well as shelter.
Ahmad, who visited Libya recently, said, “The first and foremost thing is trying to recover survivors”.
Despite the tumultuous scenes in Derna this month, The UK House of Lords member appeared somewhat optimistic about the country’s future and called for unity.
He stated, “Sometimes it takes a disaster of this kind of unimaginable terms to pull the country together. One hopes that those who are on the ground realize their responsibility”.
The United Kingdom’s main priority is ensuring that the humanitarian aid reaches those who are most dependent on it, amidst ongoing divisions in Libya.
Following the couple of civil wars, the country has seen the establishment of two rival factions in the east and west.
Regarding Libya’s lack of unity, Lord Ahmad added, ““It’s not about the past; it’s about where we are right now. A catastrophe which has hit the people of Libya. Right now, we need to be looking at their immediate needs and the future”.