Parts of war-torn Libya controlled by Moammar Gaddafi are running out of food and medicine, according to the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for the country.
Panos Moumtzis, who supervises U.N. relief efforts in Libya, said a “time bomb” situation is developing in the country that has already been battered by NATO missile strikes and a deadly civil war.
In some cases, food stocks will last only weeks, he said, and they cannot be replenished because of economic sanctions on Libya.
The food, and the medical supplies, is a little bit like a time bomb,” Moumtzis told Reuters.
“At the moment it's under control and it's okay. But if this goes on for quite some time, this will become a major issue.”
Moreover, since Libyan oil production has all but ceased, the Tripoli government is unable to generate revenue to import food and provide it to its citizen at heavily subsidized prices.
[The Libyan authorities] have given us some information on their stocks available, Moumtzis said.
For some food commodities it's a matter of weeks, others perhaps a matter of months. What is clear is that this cannot continue for a very long time.
Moumtzis added: At the moment it's under control, I don't think there's any famine, malnutrition. But the longer the conflict lasts, the more the food stocks supplies are going to be depleted, and it's a matter of weeks before the country reaches a critical situation.”
Already, the shortage fuel oil us causing great strife among the public.
There is a growing anger within the population for the fact that normal life has been disrupted or slowed down because of a lack of fuel in particular, Moumtzis said.