Amid heaving fighting in Libya, the UN refugee agency said on Tuesday it had managed to distribute aid to tens of thousands of displaced people in and around Tripoli and in the south-west of the conflict-ridden country over the past month, but still needed to reach thousands more.
"We have been unable to reach thousands more in need and call on all parties to allow access to humanitarian organizations," UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming told a press briefing in Geneva.
The distributions took place against the background of some of the worst fighting in the south of the country since Libya's civil war resumed in May 2014.
Escalated conflicts in Sabha and Awbari in the south-west and in the Kufra area – a major transit point for goods and people being smuggled from sub-Saharan Africa – have since late July displaced thousands of people.
"Many of these people are living in desperate conditions and are in urgent need both of food and non-food aid," added Fleming.
The fighting in Kufra, which intensified earlier this month, involves the rival Tebu and Tuareg tribes. The Sabha area, in Libya's southwest, is also plagued by tribal violence, but fighting has moved into the town and on August 8 the situation worsened when clashes erupted between the Libya Dawn militia and supporters of the late ruler Muammar Gaddafi.
The fighting in Sabha has killed an unknown number of civilians and displaced more than 7,500 people. Many were ordered by Libya Dawn to move from a district in the north, while about 5,000 people fled the Tayoree area in the south of Sabha, moving to safer areas of the city or to other towns including Wadi Shati, Jufra, Awabari and Tripoli.
The internally displaced have limited access to benefits and services because movement is extremely restricted.