The funding will allow the United Nations and aid organizations to provide the humanitarian response in Libya needed to reach 451,000 people – 36 per cent of the 1.3 million people identified to be in need of humanitarian assistance in 2021.
Tripoli, 28 February 2021 - The United Nations and its partners this month launched an appeal for US$189 million for the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) to provide urgently needed assistance and protection to 451,000 of the most vulnerable people affected by conflict, COVID-19 and worsening economic conditions in Libya. “We seek to work closely with national and local authorities across Libya to implement the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan to address the country’s multiple challenges and support the most vulnerable people who need assistance,” said Georgette Gagnon, Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya.
The crisis in Libya, which had escalated between April 2019 and June 2020, killed, injured and displaced tens of thousands of people. The COVID-19 pandemic further deteriorated the country’s weak health system and compounded an already difficult socio-economic situation.
While 2021 offers a real possibility for peace and stability with a permanent ceasefire holding and political reconciliation underway, concrete actions including provision of basic services are needed to improve the lives of the most vulnerable. “Libyan and non-Libyans have been facing worsening living conditions and significant hardships. The impact of COVID-19, frequent water and electricity cuts, a fragile healthcare system, a continuing economic crisis and conflict has pushed many to the brink of survival,” Ms. Gagnon said.
While the suspension of fighting has allowed many internally displaced people to start returning to their homes, many basic services were damaged or destroyed in the conflict and explosive hazard contamination as well as damage to houses in South Tripoli poses a serious obstacle to their safe returns. Since July 2020, more than 148,000 individuals returned to their communities of origin while over 278,000 people remain displaced in Libya. This includes 40,000 Tawerghans who have been displaced since 2011.
Many migrants and refugees in Libya continue to face grave protection risks and violations of their human rights. “We are also concerned about the inhumane conditions that migrants and refugees in Libya endure. The mounting loss of life while crossing the Mediterranean Sea highlightstheir desperation and reinforces our urgent need to provide assistance while also supporting Libyan authorities to find durable solutions with African and European partners,” warned Ms. Gagnon.
The international community was very generous last year, contributing 90 per cent of the requested funding for the 2020 Humanitarian Response Plan to support those in need in Libya – the highest percentage in the world. This enabled humanitarian actors to reach 463,000 people across the country with humanitarian assistance. With needs rising in 2021, aid agencies urgently require more funding to complement the response by Libyan authorities and civil society. “Providing humanitarian assistance where it is needed now in Libya can help people retain their dignity and human rights, and build their resilience while efforts are underway to reunify Libya and bring stability to the country,” said Ms. Gagnon.
In 2021, the Humanitarian Response Plan has been expanded to meet the challenges faced by the most vulnerable people, particularly in view of the impact of COVID-19 on people’s lives and service delivery. It is a prioritized plan of action, which lays out how 33 humanitarian partners aim to provide assistance in Libya and seeks to complement the efforts already being undertaken by Libyan authorities.
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- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.