2019 Libya Humanitarian Needs Overview (October 2018)

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TOTAL POPULATION OF LIBYA: 6.6M Libyans / 0.67M Migrants/Refugees

PEOPLE AFFECTED: 1.6M (22% of population)

PEOPLE IN NEED: 0.82M (11% of population)


An estimated 823,000 people, including around 248,000 children, are in-need of humanitarian assistance in Libya as a result of persisting political instability, conflict and insecurity, the breakdown of the rule of law, a deteriorating public sector and a dysfunctional economy. These include internally displaced persons, returnees, nondisplaced conflict-affected people and host communities, refugees1 and migrants.

The reduced number of people identified as in need of humanitarian assistance in 2019, compared to 2018, should certainly not be interpreted as an improvement in the humanitarian situation in Libya. The decrease in the number of people identified as in need of humanitarian assistance is rather a direct result of methodologically improved needs analysis, focused on the most severe humanitarian needs across the country, enabled by an increased availability of information and more refined data collected through needs assessments and monitoring.


The protracted crisis in Libya continues to be of grave concern with both Libyans and non-Libyans paying a high price for seven years of instability and insecurity. Approximately half of the people in need in need of humanitarian assistance are Libyans. Conflict affected refugees and migrants in or transiting through the country make up the other half. The majority of people in need are found in highly populated urban areas in the Western and Eastern regions of Libya. However, people with the most critical and severe needs are located in the southern mantikas2 of Murzuq, Sebha and Alkufra, and the coastal mantika of Sirt.

Key humanitarian needs in Libya are linked to 1) protection, 2) access to critical services such as healthcare and education services, and 3) access to basic household goods and commodities including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, and essential non-food items. These humanitarian needs reflect life-threatening risks from exposure to, vulnerability from, and the inability to cope with human rights violations and abuses, conflict and violence, and deprivation of essential services and commodities.

The Health Sector has identified the highest number of people in need, 554,000 people, however the needs of people are not stand-alone sector issues, rather interlinked across all sectors and compounded by multiple factors driving deteriorating living conditions and increasing risks.
While the impacts of the crisis has been severe on a range of people and communities, needs vary according to the characteristics and contextual situation of different populations in Libya. For example, refugees and migrants affected by the crisis, face specific protection issues including grave human rights violations and abuses by State and nonState actors due to their irregular status, lack of domestic support networks, impunity for crimes committed against foreign nationals, racism and xenophobia, and policies linked to the control of mixed migrations flows to Europe.3

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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