UNHCR Libya Operation Update, 10 - 19 July 2017
240,188 Libyans currently internally displaced persons (IDPs)
249,298 returned IDPs (returns registered in 2017)
42,028 registered refugees and asylum-seekers in Libya
93,213 persons arriving in Italy by sea so far in 2017
USD 75.5 million required for IDPs and refugees in Libya in 2017
On 18 July, UNHCR launched a Supplementary Appeal for the central Mediterranean route, to work on alternatives to dangerous journeys. UNHCR presented US$ 22.6 million additional requirements for countries in West Africa and for Morocco. The appeal incorporates earlier appeals such as the 2017 Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan for Europe (RMRP), and 2017 Supplementary Appeal for an expanded response in Libya. It covers responses in Sudan, Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, Morocco,
Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad and Tunisia.
The proposed strategy is three pronged, with broad objectives and selected activities in countries of origin and transit in sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, and destination countries in Europe. In sub-Saharan Africa, UNHCR will target countries of asylum, origin and transit to mitigate identified protection risks along routes. Interventions will include raising awareness of risks and improving communication with communities likely to travel towards Libya. In North Africa, UNHCR will work to prevent refoulement; improve access to territory and asylum; conduct awareness raising and advocacy on the dangers of irregular migration; and enhance the overall protection space. In Europe, UNHCR will continue supporting, complementing and building existing government capacities to ensure effective and safe access to asylum, protection services and solutions for people of concern, with particular attention to those with specific needs and vulnerabilities. Between January and June 2017, 2,171 refugees and migrants died or went missing in the central Mediterranean, many of them trying to cross from Libya to Italy.
UNHCR successfully advocated for the release of 24 refugees and asylum seekers (13 women, 11 men) from Triq al Sika detention centre in Tripoli. The group was identified by UNHCR during a distribution in Triq al Sika. They had previously been held in Mitiga detention centre. Upon their release by authorities, the group was transferred to a shelter and assisted with food, clothes, hygiene items and medical assistance. So far in 2017, 371 refugees and asylum seekers have been released from detention following UNHCR’s intervention.
On 13 July, UNHCR and partner International Medical Corps (IMC) assisted 318 refugees and migrants following two rescue/interception at sea operations in Tripoli and Azzawya, in western Libya. The group included 35 women and two children. Rescue kits and primary health care were provided. On both occasions, the refugees and migrants were transferred by authorities to detention centres.
UNHCR continues to support urban refugees and asylum seekers with documentation, primary health care and cash based interventions. During the reporting period, UNHCR, IMC and CESVI provided health services (medical consultation and hygiene kits) to 575 refugees and asylum seekers in the two Community Development Centres in Tripoli. Last week, UNHCR contributed three trucks of medical supplies to the Libyan Ministry of Health in Tripoli.
UNHCR engaged in consultations with Libyan stakeholders in order to increase the delivery of cash-based interventions to IDPs, refugees and asylum seekers.
Discussions with the Central Bank of Libya, telecommunication companies, financial service providers and related authorities focused on avenues for UNHCR to scale-up cash assistance to Libyan IDPs, returnees, refugees and asylum seekers. So far in 2017,
UNHCR distributed cash assistance to 3,000 IDPs in Benghazi and over 1,420 refugees in Tripoli. These cash-based interventions will be sustained during the coming months, providing support to the most vulnerable.