WHO Says its Humanitarian Convoys to Tarhouna and Bani Walid Bombed – Al Marsad

The World Health Organization (WHO) condemned the bombing of its trucks and supplies bound for the cities of Tarhouna and Bani Walid, including obstructing the delivery of basic equipment to confront and diagnose the coronavirus. The statement was issued in reference to the Turkish shelling by drones operated by Turkish soldiers in strikes and claimed by the trainee pilot, Mohamed Qanunu.

(Libya, 12 May 2020) – In its statement, the WHO said it has dispatched new essential medical supplies, including emergency health, trauma, surgical and noncommunicable disease kits, to the town of Tarhouna.

“Tarhouna has been the scene of intense hostilities over the past month, and more than 3,000 people have fled their homes,” said WHO. It confirmed that the access for the 200,000 civilians still inside the city and its surrounding areas to humanitarian organizations was very limited.

“This shipment is the second to be delivered to Tarhouna over the past few weeks. On 20 April, WHO delivered 6 trauma kits and 3 surgical supply kits to the town,” according to WHO.

“Trucks bound for Tarhouna via Bani Walid with essential supplies have been bombed by drones several times, leaving Bani Walid’s population of almost 150,000 people facing acute shortages of medicine, food and fuel,” stated the WHO referring to the generous contribution from the Government of Germany to support all three shipments.

WHO said it is extremely concerned about the dire humanitarian health situation in Tarhouna, where “electricity and water supplies have reportedly been cut, affecting health care services and the cold chain for vaccines and greatly increasing the risk of communicable disease outbreaks. This has forced most health care facilities to suspend their services. Tarhouna Teaching Hospital and only one clinic remain open.”

“The situation in Bani Walid is also of grave concern. WHO is planning to deploy an emergency medical team to strengthen health care services in the town.” Also, according to the statement, hostilities (by Turkish bombing) hampered the response to the coronavirus pandemic and plans to construct 100 isolation beds had to be suspended due to continued insecurity.

The WHO confirmed that it is closely monitoring the situation and working to deploy additional mobile medical teams to enhance health care services.

“The WHO remains in close contact with its field coordinator in Tarhouna and with the National Center for Disease Control, which works to strengthen disease surveillance in the city. The WHO will participate in the inter-agency humanitarian convoys to Tarhunah once the situation stabilizes,” the statement concluded.

© Al Marsad English (2020)