Humanitarian Action for Children 2020 - Libya

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The armed conflict in Libya escalated in 2019, and as a result, some 880,000 people require humanitarian assistance. Children in Tripoli, Derna and urban areas in the west and south are particularly vulnerable. There are 301,000 internally displaced persons, including nearly 145,000 children and 447,000 returnees. Some 267,000 people require water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance, 93,000 children are in need of education support, 554,000 people require health assistance and 134,000 children need protection services. Following the Libyan National Army incursion on the Government of National Accord in Tripoli in April 2019, the violence escalated and 128,000 people were displaced. There have been widespread violations of international law, including attacks on health, water and education facilities and humanitarian workers. Since April, 122,000 children have experienced disruptions to their education in western Libya. Conflict-affected areas are experiencing water shortages, stockouts of health supplies and vaccine-preventable diseases, including measles. Of the 641,000 migrants and refugees in Libya, 9 per cent are minors vulnerable to grave violations of child rights. Detained migrant and refugee children are held in inhumane conditions and detention centres have been hit by airstrikes. In 2019, over 300 migrants and refugees, including children, died crossing the Mediterranean from Libya.

Humanitarian strategy

To strengthen the linkages between humanitarian action and development programming in Libya, UNICEF will prioritize its coordination role and support capacity building for all partners, including local authorities and municipalities. UNICEF coleads the inter-agency Rapid Response Mechanism, which scales up responses by pre-positioning supplies; providing direct cash assistance in response to sudden-onset emergencies; and delivering life-saving assistance in hard-to-reach areas. UNICEF also leads the WASH and education sectors and the child protection and nutrition subsectors. To maximize its impact, UNICEF will continue to build partnerships with line ministries, municipalities and nongovernmental organizations and invest in national capacity development, focusing on humanitarian principles and emergency preparedness and response. Multi-sectoral humanitarian assistance will be prioritized, as will community mobilization and awarenessraising as strategies for reaching the most vulnerable children (including children on the move). UNICEF will provide life-saving assistance by ensuring access to safe water and sanitation facilities, providing primary health clinics with maternal and neonatal health and nutrition packages, and strengthening communicable disease prevention and national immunization. Support for formal and non-formal education and child protection services will be expanded in schools and community centres, emphasizing efforts to address gender-based violence.

Results from 2019

As of 31 August 2019, UNICEF had US$8.8 million available against the US$23.4 million appeal (38 per cent funded). UNICEF and partners scaled up humanitarian response and coordination to provide vulnerable children and families affected by conflict, displacement and flooding with lifesaving assistance. By mid-2019, UNICEF had reached over 48,500 people (19,000 children) with improved access to safe drinking water, sanitation and gender-appropriate hygiene; over 398,000 people had received a package of health services; nearly 2,700 children had received non-formal education; and over 76,000 children had benefited from psychosocial support. With partner United Nations agencies, UNICEF reached over 25,000 conflict-affected people with a minimum package of life-saving assistance through the Rapid Response Mechanism. With the opening of an office in Benghazi, UNICEF expanded its presence and increased assistance to conflict-affected communities in southern and western Libya. Some 6,100 displaced families living in collective centres, shelters and urban areas received assistance by mid-year. UNICEF also scaled up emergency preparedness by pre-positioning life-saving items through two airlifts in response to emergencies in western and southern Libya. Due to inadequate funding, some activities were delayed, including a SMART nutrition assessment and efforts to scale up mine risk education and the gender-based violence response.