26/10/2011 - Since NTC forces took control of Sirte last week ECHO experts and its partners have conducted several assessment missions around the city and in nearby villages. The humanitarian situation remains very serious in terms of water shortages, unexploded munitions and destroyed and damaged buildings, human rights and humanitarian law abuses and displaced people.
ECHO experts and their partners in conducting their needs assessments have identified that no running water is available in Sirte, and dead bodies have been found in the water reservoir. Therefore, even when the infrastructure is repaired the water may still not be drinkable. Unexploded munitions and large quantities of arms are scattered around the city, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has deployed a team to dispose of such munitions but this will take time and other humanitarian mine actions actors are also mobilising their efforts to respond to the significant needs. Large numbers of corpses have been discovered in various parts of Sirte, including in a hotel, investigations are underway. The main hospital which was all but deserted during the fighting is being cleaned and restocked. The international NGOs International Medical Corps and Medecin Sans Frontières are giving support with drugs and psychologists respectively.
With regard to population movement and internally displaced people (IDPs), those who left Sirte during the siege have not, and perhaps will not return to their homes in the short term. Libyan IDPs ECHO's team met on the road stated that remote camps have received hardly any aid. A few thousand people are reported to be scattered throughout the desert in the area. The IDPs express their wish to go back to their homes. However, they also explain that the level of destruction prevents this and that they have no money for reconstruction costs. Fortunately IDPs that are easy to locate in accessible places have been receiving humanitarian aid from both Libyan communities and international organisations.
In terms of future areas of focus for aid agencies: vulnerable IDPs groups accommodated in public premises or in areas hard to reach are likely to remain in dire need of support. It is important to increase focus on these groups, such as the Tawargha tribe. Also of importance is that the humanitarian community pays specific attention and prioritizes these very vulnerable groups in the provision of its humanitarian aid.