U.N. seeking ceasefire to allow humanitarian support for Libya
May 24, 2011
As fighting continues between the supporters of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi in Libya and the rebels in the country, the United Nations is asking for a cease in fighting for a window of time big enough for humanitarian aid to enter the country, according to a new report from Reuters.
"The humanitarian pause is driven by humanitarian principles and the need to be able to provide urgently needed life-saving assistance to the civilian population in distress," said Panos Moumtzis, the humanitarian coordinator in Libya.
The U.N. is asking for a ceasefire of 24 to 72 hours, enough to bring food and medical assistance to areas such as Misrata and Tripoli. Moumtzis says that such a break in fighting - for the sake of humanitarian aid - is crucial and wants to see it happen as soon as possible.
Libya has a population of about 6.6 million people, according to the CIA World Factbook. The median age in the country is 24.5 years, with much of the working population employed in services and industry. The 2004 estimate of unemployment was 30 percent. The country is heavily dependent on its oil sector.