Appeal from the British Institute of Libyan and North African Studies (BILNAS), “Many of you will have seen the terrible pictures of Derna following the impact of Storm Daniel. The loss of life and the damage caused to at least three districts of the city in the footprint of the Wadi Derna are on an enormous scale with an estimated death toll of perhaps 20,000 and at least twice that number homeless and in need of immediate and long-term help. To those of us who have worked in Libya and have grown to love the country and its people this terrible tragedy touches the heart. We must do something to help.
The community of Derna has been hard-pressed for decades, so this apocalyptic disaster has hit a city severely weakened by warfare and by long-term neglect of basic urban infrastructure. The people of Derna and to a lesser degree of Al-Baida and Benghazi are in desperate need of help.
Funds are needed to deal with the immediate aftermath of the floods but also for short-term tasks of providing shelter, welfare and much needed medical help. Longer term assistance with rebuilding a community traumatised by a natural disaster of a scale not seen since the Great Earthquake of AD 365 (that devastated much of Eastern Libya) is also required. BILNAS has made a donation through the Red Cross to assist with the Libyan Relief operations. I therefore appeal to you as a friend of Libya and its people to make a donation if you can, through one of the many relief agencies that are now operating in Eastern Libya, principally in and around Derna. There are a number of sites collecting money for Libyan Flood Relief; these include the British Red Cross, Islamic Relief and others.”