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BENGHAZI, Libya - Libya's rebel forces said on Sunday they were running out of money and have not yet received any of
Libyan opposition running out of money as international donors fail to give promised aid.
the roughly one billion dollars promised by international donors earlier this month. Urging benefactors to make good on their promise to aid the Transitional National Council (NTC), the rebels said that the mechanism for transferring funds had been set up and the cash was now urgently needed. "(The) funds should have been deposited from last week and none have been deposited to date," council vice chairman and spokesman Abdel Hafiz Ghoga said. The rebels -- pummelled by forces loyal to Moamer Gathafi and unable to capitalise on the country's vast oil wealth because of damaged infrastructure -- depend foreign largesse to pay for basic services and their largely volunteer-led rebellion. At a conference in Abu Dhabi earlier this month, donors vowed to help them with cash and supplies. Italy promised loans and aid worth 300 to 400 million euros ($438 million to $584 million). France, meanwhile, said it would release 290 million euros ($420.9 million) of frozen Libyan funds for the NTC. Diplomats said $180 million had been pledged by Kuwait and $100 million by Qatar. "Our financial situation obviously has a direct effect on our civilian population," said Ghoga, citing the need for food and medicines. The upheaval in Libya has left many people out of work. Schools and universities remain closed and hospitals are understaffed after the departure of foreign workers who fled the fighting. The council has set out a budget for around $3.5 billion for the next six months.