Mater Dei Hospital is undergoing preparations for an ‘influx’ of humanitarian aid after a military conflict between two rival governments erupted in Libya, sources have revealed to Lovin Malta.
This newsroom’s sources emphasised that despite ‘tight resources’, the national hospital would still be prepared to cater to the potential increase in patients, with arrivals from Libya expected to take place.
Diplomatic tensions over irregular migration and the humanitarian crisis on the North African coast reached its peak last year, after the Italian Coalition Government (and more specifically Matteo Salvini) closed all their ports to NGOs.
Last Thursday, conflict erupted after the Libyan National Army (LNA), a proxy government led by General Khalifa Haftar, launched a military offensive against the UN-backed government in Tripoli, the Government of National Accord (GNA).
The UN has said that 2,800 people have fled from the fighting near Libya’s capital, with the Ministry of Public Health already revealing that at least 25 people had been killed and 80 wounded.
The international body has also said its call for a humanitarian truce has been ignored and emergency services said they had not been able to enter the areas where fighting was taking place.
The US military has already moved a contingent of US forces out of the country due to the increased unrest.
The country has been torn by violence, political instability and power struggles since long-time ruler Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed in 2011.
General Haftar helped Gaddafi seize power in 1969 before falling out with him and going into exile in the US. He returned in 2011 after the uprising against Gaddafi began and became a rebel commander. Haftar is a tough anti-Islamist who has the support of Egypt and the UAE and is strong in eastern Libya.