UNHCR Libya Operation Update, 31 July - 9 August 2017
226,164 Libyans currently internally displaced persons (IDPs)
267,002 returned IDPs (returns registered in 2017)
42,346 registered refugees and asylum-seekers in Libya
95,088 persons arrived in Italy by sea so far in 2017
USD 75.5 million required for IDPs and refugees in Libya in 2017
A total of 505 refugees and migrants were rescued/intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) during the reporting period and disembarked in Libya (385 individuals in Tripoli and 120 individuals in Azzawya). The latest incident occurred on 7 August, when 135 refugees and migrants, including 18 women and 2 children, were rescued/intercepted by the LCG and disembarked in Tripoli. The main countries of origin of these individuals included Mali, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Egypt, and Bangladesh. UNHCR provided hygiene kits upon disembarkation and identified high levels of dehydration among those disembarked. So far this year, a total of 9,823 have been rescued/intercepted by the LCG.
From 8 to 10 August, UNHCR organized a cash-based interventions (CBI) training workshop for more than 30 NGO and UN partner staff working in Libya to strengthen cash programming and coordination. UNHCR and ACTED co-lead the Libya Cash and Markets Working Group, which was established in August 2016, with a view to supporting humanitarian actors’ CBI programming. Cash support helps refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) to cope with the challenges of displacement, and mitigates consequences of the liquidity crisis and inflation that the Libyan economy is facing. Many refugees and IDPs face a lack of adequate shelter, unsafe living conditions, non-availability of essential medical supplies, limited physical and legal safety, child protection risks, as well as limited access to basic food commodities. So far in 2017, UNHCR provided cash assistance to more than 1,043 vulnerable IDP and refugee households in Tripoli and Benghazi.
UNHCR continued its outreach programme by visiting refugee households in Tripoli, with the objective of facilitating access to UNHCR assistance and assessing vulnerability levels. UNHCR teams visited 28 Syrian, Sudanese, Eritrean, Iraqi and Palestinian refugee families in Tripoli. During the visits, refugees highlighted the difficulties in accessing public services such as education and health, and appreciated UNHCR’s cash based interventions.
On 4 August, UNHCR and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) signed an agreement for the expansion of the Population and City Profiling exercise to various municipalities in Libya. The Population and City Profiling exercise is implemented by an alliance of UNHCR, UNFPA, and UN-HABITAT, in coordination with Libyan authorities, to generate data for a better understanding of the needs of IDPs, returnees and host communities. The exercise also aims to improve the quality of information available on urban locations and will allow for analyses for improved planning, targeting and monitoring by national authorities as well as humanitarian/development actors. This exercise is unique in the context of Libya as it will generate the first area-based analysis, and create a solid evidence base to inform humanitarian, stabilization and recovery interventions in response to identified needs.
With the objective of enhancing refugee access to services and assistance, UNHCR and partner CESVI hotlines continue to operate seven days a week. During the reporting period, the hotlines received 75 calls from Syrian, Palestinian, Sudanese, Ethiopian, Eritrean and Iraqi refugees and asylum-seekers. Individuals calling highlighted the difficult situation that they face in Libya, including limited financial means and inquired about UNHCR’s assistance programmes.
From 5 to 7 August, UNHCR conducted a capacity building workshop on “International Refugee Law and UNHCR’s role in the protection of detained refugees” for over 20 participants from LibAid and the Department for Combatting Illegal Migration. The training provided an opportunity to foster cooperation, particularly with regard to the release from detention of UNHCR persons of concern.