According to Obama Administration officials, the UN Security Council has approved a US request to unfreeze $1.5 billion in Libyan government assets to be sent to the nation for “humanitarian” needs. They expect the funds to flow in “a few days.”
Exactly how this will work is something of a mystery, however. The South African government blocked the efforts to unfreeze the funds earlier, complaining that the effort was designed to fund the “Transitional National Council,” which is not recognized by the African Union as the legitimate government of Libya.
This was solved by removing the mentions to the rebel council and instead promising to hand the funds to “relevant Libyan authorities.” Though some of the funds seem targeted at NGOs the dispute over where a lot of the money will go is likely to continue. The rebels for their part insist they need money as soon as possible.
The Security Council approval is conditional on the funds being used for civilian purposes, and with Libya’s rebels centering most of their efforts around trying to find Gadhafi and arresting black people that they think might be mercenaries, humanitarian efforts are likely not something they’re well equipped to handle.