More than $160 million is needed to help refugees from riot-hit Libya, President of the UN General Assembly Joseph Deiss said in an interview with Russia Today TV channel.
The UN official visited Moscow on Wednesday and met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, his deputy Gennady Gatilov and Russian Health and Social Development Minister Tatyana Golikova.
"There is also an appeal by the Secretary General of UN for pledging the first estimation made for the immediate needs are about $160 million that are needed," Deiss said, adding that the Russian government has already "pledged some money for that."
Almost 100,000 people are estimated to have crossed into Tunisia since the uprising in Libya began in mid-February, and about 75,000 more are thought to have fled to Egypt.
A violent crackdown on protestors by Libya's longtime ruler Muammar Gaddafi has forced the opposition to turn to the UN, calling for international recognition of the new Libyan government. France has already recognized the rebel Libyan National Council as the only legitimate governing body in the country
Libyan opposition leaders earlier requested the international community to protect the Libyan people "from any further genocide and crimes against humanity without any direct military intervention on Libyan soil."
"On the one hand, the UN stands for member states and their sovereignty, and on the other hand there are fundamental values the UN stands for," Deiss said.
"And, beyond certain limits the international community has the moral duty to protect those who are at the mercy of the governments who are not coming up to their obligations," he added.
MOSCOW, March 10 (RIA Novosti)