We have all followed developments in Libya’s eastern cities, including Benghazi, with shock and dismay since the extreme weather event on 11 September. But the fate of Derna has caused particular horror.
The scale of the catastrophe there has been almost impossible to comprehend, with the collapse of two dams causing a flash flood which swept away a whole district, killing 2000 people and reportedly leaving 10,000 missing. Unfortunately the official death toll will rise over the coming days. As will the need for aid and support to those who survived the horror.
In an interview on BBC’s PM programme on 12 September, LBBC Chairman Peter Millett emphasised the need for Libyans to come together to respond to the crisis and called on international efforts to provide aid, relief and support to be coordinated through the United Nations.
Follow this link to the LBBC LinkedIn page to read the Chairman’s comments. Or for those of you who are based in the UK, follow this link to listen to this interview on BBC Sounds (go to 41 mins 40 secs for the interview with Peter).
The disaster has prompted a rapid response from Libyan civil society; LBBC member Eltumi & Co has published a list of local appeals. UNICEF and the British Red Cross have both launched appeals. Our good friend Ghassan Atiga from Bank ABC was interviewed by ITV today and speaking in Arabic has also posted his support on Facebook for the British Red Cross appeal.
Please do consider making a donation to these appeals, which may literally mean the difference between life and death for people in Eastern Libya.