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Hunger and COVID-19 in Libya - A joint approach examining the food security situation of migrants, July 2021

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Nearly 10 years after the start of hostilities in Libya, the security situation has improved1 following a ceasefire agreed in October 2020 between the warring parties. However, years of fighting – recently aggravated by COVID-19 restrictions – have further contributed to the deterioration2 of the already weakened economic situation, with a negative impact on the population’s purchasing power and their ability to fulfil their basic needs. The humanitarian situation has also been impacted by the protracted conflict, including frequent power and water cuts.

As a result of the economic downturn and shrinking labour opportunities, the unemployment rate among migrants presents a significant risk factor3 , which can lead to increased vulnerability and humanitarian needs, such as food security. Migrants’ unemployment rate rose from 17 percent in February 2020 to 27 percent in August 20204 . The cumulative impact of COVID-19 mobility restrictions has affected the food security levels5 of a large number of the more than 574,000 migrants6 in Libya, particularly those relying on casual work found on a daily basis. In addition, the general security situation in Libya, despite having improved following the truce that was signed in October7 continues to be volatile.

In this context, this joint study by the World Food Programme (WFP) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) explores the impacts of COVID-19 and related restrictions on the food security situation of migrants in Libya.