First Group of Vulnerable Refugees Evacuated From Libya to Niger with the Support of UNHCR and Libyan Government

Tripoli, Libya - On Saturday 11 November 2017, 25 refugees departed from Mitiga airport in Tripoli, Libya bound for Niamey, Niger.

The group is heading to Niger as part of a humanitarian evacuation initiative between UNHCR, the Libyan government and the government of Niger. The Government of Niger has generously agreed to host the group until their resettlement claims are processed. Among these 25 refugees, there were 15 women, six men and four children.

‘Today’s evacuation symbolizes hope in finding safe solutions for vulnerable refugees in Libya. This life saving initiative would not have been possible without the commitment and support of the Libyan government and the Government of Niger. We would like to extend our thanks to both governments and the humanitarian partners involved for their part in facilitating this process’ said Roberto Mignone, the Representative for UNHCR in Libya.

This type of humanitarian evacuation is a very important step in addressing the need for safe solutions and alternative pathways for the most vulnerable refugees in Libya who are often forced to embark on deadly sea journeys in search of international protection.

This is the first evacuation of its kind from Libya. UNHCR hopes to carry out more evacuations in the future with the support of the Libyan government and the Niger government.