Civilians in Libya are suffering deeply by a conflict that is entering its ninth year, according the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

Iran Press/Africa: One in four Libyans is affected by a conflict as months of fighting in Tripoli has led to the closure of an additional 13 health facilities and 220 schools, disrupting much-needed health services and education, President Peter Maurer of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said.

Many Libyans are increasingly facing a scarcity of basic items and decaying or destroyed public services and infrastructure. More than half a million people are estimated to be in critical need of medical care, according to ICRC website.

"The combination of economic collapse and protracted conflict is making it difficult for people to acquire even the most basic items and services, like health care, clean water, and education," Maurer said after meetings with residents and government and military officials, as well as Libyan Red Crescent Society's (LRCS) representatives in Tripoli and Benghazi. "People's savings and other resources are dwindling. The most vulnerable among them are those households who have lost a breadwinner."

The ICRC urges all belligerents to respect basic principles of international humanitarian law while conducting military operations to ensure that civilians are spared from the effects of ongoing hostilities and that they shall never be a target of any attack. Similarly, infrastructure necessary for human survival such as hospitals, schools, water and electricity plants must be protected.

Thousands of Libyans have been forced to flee their homes – many repeatedly. Last year saw around 177,000 people displaced from their homes because of fighting in different parts of the country, including 150,000 people uprooted due to fighting around Tripoli.



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