For more than seven weeks, Muammar Gaddafi's troops have been laying siege to Misurata, Libya's third-largest city and the last major rebel foothold in the west of the country.  

Aid agencies say the humanitarian situation there is dire - there is a critical shortage of food, power, water and medicines, and its getting worse every day.  

As concern grows for the 300,000 civilians trapped in Misurata, Andrew Mitchell, the UK's international development secretary, says Britain is considering plans to increase aid to civilians in the besieged city. 

But what more can Western powers do to help the rebels in their push towards Tripoli?

Inside Story, with presenter Darren Jordon, discusses with guests: Mohamed Abdul Malek, the chairman of Libya Watch; Paul Smyth, a defence analyst and former British military officer; and Steve Clemons, the director of the American Strategy Program at the New America Foundation.

This episode of Inside Story aired on Monday, April 18, 2011. 

Source: Al Jazeera