Medical supplies running out in eastern Libya: Minister

BENGHAZI – Libya's Health Minister Rida al-Awkali on Wednesday warned against a health catastrophe in the eastern part of the North African state.

He said medical supplies and medicines were running out at the Health Ministry's depots in eastern Libya.

"This amounts to a death sentence against a large number of patients," the minister said during a press conference in the eastern Libya city of Al-Bayda.

He said deteriorating security conditions across Libya had been behind the crisis.

Al-Awkali said the Health Ministry had not been granted the necessary budget for buying the medical needs of hospitals in eastern Libya.

He called on financial institutions and the Governor of the Central Bank of Libya to send the necessary funds for buying the medical needs, expressing hopes that this would be done within 48 hours.

The minister said these financial institutions would be responsible in case any of the patients in eastern Libya's hospitals died.

He called on United Nations organizations to open safe corridors through which they could deliver medical supplies to these hospitals.

Al-Awkali accused the United Nations of ignoring developments in Libya, describing this as a "crime against humanity."

Some private hospitals in the eastern city of Benghazi had recently announced that medical supplies and medicines were running out in them.

Libya has been suffering turmoil since a bloody uprising ended the rule of longstanding leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Since then, rival militias have been fighting each other in almost all cities in the total absence of the government.

There are now two parliaments in Libya and two governments backed by these two parliaments.

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