ShelterBox to support people left homeless by Libya flooding

With more than 40,000 people internally displaced, ShelterBox is supporting those who have lost their homes to flood waters in Libya.

Wednesday 20 September 2023

Press release - 20 Sept 2023

The international disaster relief charity ShelterBox is to support people whose homes have been severely damaged or washed away by flood waters in Libya. The city of Derna is one of the worst-hit areas after dams outside the city collapsed unleashing a torrent of water that’s washed away entire neighbourhoods.

More than 40,000 people are internally displaced across northeast Libya according to the IFRC. It’s feared the death toll could reach 20,000 with at least 11,000 people known to have died, and The Libyan Red Crescent say more than 10,000 people are still missing.

“Many people are gathered in school buildings because they no longer have a home to go back to and they are likely to be there for some time,” says regional director for Asia, Middle East and North Africa at ShelterBox, Haroon Altaf. “That’s where we’re going to focus our efforts and we’re looking at what support is needed – it could be blankets, gas stoves, or kitchen sets.”

Getting aid into countries and on to where it’s needed after a disaster of this scale can be difficult, especially with damage to infrastructure and supply routes. Access to Libya for foreign nationals is challenging too, so to provide support to people affected by the flooding ShelterBox is partnering with ACTED, an international aid organisation that was already working in Derna before Storm Daniel.

A ShelterBox response team is deploying to neighbouring Tunisia this week to meet with ACTED to confirm what is needed and what aid they’ll provide together.

Haroon adds: “What’s happened here is harrowing, whole neighbourhoods have been washed away, and we’re doing what we can to provide support to people bearing the brunt of this disaster.”

Many areas remain inaccessible because of significant damage to the road network, buildings, electricity, and communication lines. There are growing concerns of potential disease outbreaks and with relatively few aid organisations working in Libya the humanitarian need is likely to increase over time.

ShelterBox has partnered with ACTED before, most recently in Nigeria (2021) and Moldova (2022) as part of its response to the war in Ukraine. ShelterBox has supported people in Libya before too. In 2011 it partnered with the ACTED and the Libyan Red Crescent Society to deliver aid to people affected by civil unrest.

As well as having an assessment team in Morocco following the recent earthquake, ShelterBox is still supporting people affected by earthquakes in Türkiye and Syria. It’s also supporting people displaced by extreme weather events, like monsoon flooding in Pakistan and drought in East Africa, and conflict in Ukraine, Yemen, Syria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Chad, and Mozambique.

Supporting ShelterBox will help people affected by the flooding in Libya and other disasters around the world. The charity believes it can have the most impact for communities by staying flexible. It allows ShelterBox to restock its warehouses ready for the next disaster and provide support to people affected by extreme weather, conflict, and climate crises around the world.

To find out more about the work of ShelterBox across the world, visit


For more information contact the press office at ShelterBox via [email protected].


Notes to Editors

  •  Interviews available on request


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