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UN, Libya fail to agree on aid assessment mission

The United Nations said Friday that its aid envoy failed to reach an agreement with Libya on how an assessment of humanitarian needs in the strife-hit country could be carried out.

Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, told AFP that during a visit by aid envoy Rashid Khalikov to Libya, parts of the Libyan government “stated willingness to provide access for humanitarian agencies.”

However, “no final agreement has been reached on how an inter-agency needs assessment will be carried out,” said Byrs.

“This mission is needed to provide a accurate basis for planning of needs and possibilities of aid delivery into the country,” added the spokeswoman.

Khalikov was in Libya between March 11 and 16.

Intensifying violence in the country has led relief agencies to suspend their operations or withdraw to safer locations.

The International Committee of the Red Cross withdrew its staff from Libyan rebel stronghold Benghazi on Wednesday and moved them further east to Tobruk.

The International Organization for Migration meanwhile said it halted operations in Benghazi over the weekend.