After six years of conflict, the humanitarian situation in Libya continues to deteriorate, with increasing reports of grave protection and human rights violations. In 2017, an estimated 1.6 million people were directly affected by ongoing conflict in populated areas, including 1.1 million people—378,000 of them children—who require life-saving humanitarian assistance and protection. Violence and armed conflict have left nearly 170,000 people displaced and economic crisis and loss of livelihood have led to inadequate access to basic services. Only 64 per cent of the affected population has access to adequate drinking water sources, down from 88 per cent before the conflict. As a transit and destination country for economic and other temporary migrants from neighbouring countries and West Africa, Libya is also currently hosting an estimated 400,000 migrants and refugees, including 33,000 children, of which nearly 13,000 are unaccompanied. These children are at risk of abuse and human rights violations, and vulnerable to armed groups engaged in smuggling, trafficking and the exploitation of children.
In 2018, UNICEF will restore its full presence of staff and partners in Libya, and provide life-saving assistance to children and families, while building the resilience of affected communities and local institutions. UNICEF's response will be carried out across sectors to reach the most vulnerable children, including children on the move, and address grave violations of children's rights. UNICEF leads the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and education sectors and the child protection sub-sector and is supporting the establishment of a nutrition working group. Humanitarian assistance will be delivered in partnership with line ministries, municipalities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). UNICEF, United Nations agencies and NGOs are also working to establish a Rapid Response Mechanism for coordinated and timely response. Affected children will benefit from educational materials and safe access to quality education and learning spaces. UNICEF will also improve access to safe water, sanitation facilities and WASH in schools. Women and children in underserved southern areas will receive targeted health services, and an estimated 1.4 million children will receive polio vaccination. UNICEF will also reach affected children, including migrant children, with psychosocial support and child-friendly spaces, and children associated with armed groups will benefit from release and reintegration support.
Results from 2017
As of 31 October 2017, UNICEF had US$8.2 million available against the US$14.9 million appeal (55 per cent funded). In 2017, UNICEF worked with partners to respond to emergencies by strengthening the provision of WASH, health, child protection and education services for refugees, migrants, internally displaced persons and Libyans otherwise affected by humanitarian crisis. Despite the challenging operating environment and insecurity, UNICEF and partners were able to reach affected populations with life-saving emergency assistance and expanded access to services. Some 1.35 million children were vaccinated against polio and measles, achieving universal coverage for all children under 6 years. More than 83,000 people, including 37,350 children, benefitted from improved access to safe drinking water and genderappropriate sanitation facilities. Some 23,000 crisis-affected school-aged children gained access to non-formal education and recreational activities and received essential learning materials and supplies. School rehabilitation work helped 6,000 children in conflict-affected areas of Benghazi, Sabha and Ubari return to learning. Some 27,000 children participated in structured and sustained child protection and psychosocial support services in UNICEF-supported childfriendly spaces. UNICEF advocacy efforts and engagement with Zintan municipality led to the release of 125 children from local armed groups. These children also benefitted from specialized services.