DTM Libya identified a total of 597,611 migrants from over 40 nationalities in the 100 Libyan municipalities in May and June 2021 during Round 37 of data collection.
During the reporting period, the number of migrants in Libya remained fairly stable compared to the previous round of data collection (March and April 2021). In line with prior reports, the number of migrants in Libya currently remains lower than pre-pandemic levels.
In May and June, while the migrant unemployment rate decreased to 20 per cent from 22 per cent in April 2021 it remained higher than pre-pandemic levels (17% in February 2020). A greater proportion of unemployed migrants continue to report being unable to meet their needs than those who are employed. For instance, a larger proportion of unemployed migrants reported facing food insecurity, financial issues or lacking access to safe drinking water than those who were employed.
Furthermore, unemployment is most severe among migrants who have arrived in Libya more recently (Fig 1).
For example, nearly half of those who have arrived less than 6 months ago were unemployed (48%) compared to 12 per cent of those who have been in Libya for between one to two years.
Past studies have shown that migrants who have arrived more recently in Libya are generally less established and may be unable to rely on a local network for assistance. Having newly arrived has therefore been identified as a significant risk factor adding to migrants’ vulnerability at the individual level. In a recently published joint WFP-IOM food security report, migrants who had been in Libya for less than six months were identified as being more vulnerable to food insecurity. Food consumption levels, which are measured by the frequency and diversity of foods consumed over the past seven days, were generally lower among migrants who had arrived more recently in Libya than those who had been in the country for longer than six months.
Individual interviews with migrants conducted by DTM in May and June highlighted that economic motivations remain in most cases (88%) the primary reason for leaving their country of origin. Half of migrants interviewed reported that insufficient income in their country of origin was the main catalyst that motivated their migration to Libya. Moreover, one in five migrants reported that the search for job opportunities abroad (19%) or the lack of job opportunities in their country of origin was the main driver behind their migration (19%).
In line with previous findings, the majority of migrants who were employed reported working in the fields of construction (33%), domestic and care work (8%), agriculture and fisheries (8%), in factories and manufactures (7%) or in retail or sales (5%). Others (39%) worked in various positions, such as tailors, street vendors, kitchen workers and teachers.