Fighting around Tripoli, insecurity in Libya trigger food price hikes

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Smoke rises from Mitiga International Airport in Tripoli, Libya, Feb. 28, 2020. The forces of the UN-backed Libyan government said on Friday that the rival east-based army attacked the Mitiga International Airport in Tripoli with heavy shelling. (Photo by Amru Salahuddien/Xinhua)
Smoke rises from Mitiga International Airport in Tripoli, Libya, Feb. 28, 2020. The forces of the UN-backed Libyan government said on Friday that the rival east-based army attacked the Mitiga International Airport in Tripoli with heavy shelling. (Photo by Amru Salahuddien/Xinhua)

Fighting around Tripoli and insecurity in Libya have triggered food price hikes, prompting the United Nations and its humanitarian partners to renew appeals for a ceasefire, a UN spokesman said on Thursday.

“Our humanitarian colleagues warn that a cessation of hostilities is urgently required in the country,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

“Ongoing insecurity and fighting around Tripoli are continuing to deepen civilian suffering.”

Half of the assessed cities reported food shortages and 86 percent reported food price hikes, Dujarric said. On average, a recent assessment showed the prices of food items increased by 27 percent, while those of hygiene items have gone up by 12 percent.

“In response, we, along with our humanitarian partners, are supporting authorities and working on the frontlines to provide aid to internally displaced people, returnees, refugees and asylum seekers,” the spokesman said. “And amidst the conflict, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Libya has increased to 60, and that includes one death.”

In the face of COVID-19, the UN secretary-general appealed last month for a global ceasefire to help fight the disease. Enditem

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