Libya: Humanitarian Access Report (March 2020)

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This report is produced by OCHA Libya

851 Access constraints reported

19% COVID-19-related access constraints

Situation Overview

During March 2020, a total of 851 access constraints were reported by humanitarian partners. This constitutes a significant increase of about 826 incidents since the last Access Snapshot which was published in September 2019. The reason for this increase can be attributed to the activation of the Humanitarian Access Incidents Reporting Mechanism across all regions in Libya (East, West and South), through which humanitarian partners and OCHA can report access constraints/incidents as soon as the constraint emerges. The main aim of this tool is for the humanitarian community to use the collective information to advocate for the elimination of the constraints that impede access of the affected people in Libya to needed humanitarian assistance (893,000 people in Libya are in need of some form of humanitarian and protection assistance)

Analysis according to type of access constraint:

Bureaucratic restrictions on personnel and humanitarian supplies make up the vast majority of access constraints encountered by partners. In March 2020, humanitarian partners reported a total of 593 access constraints on movement of humanitarian ersonnel and humanitarian items into Libya. This constitutes about 70% of all access constraints reported during the month. Such bureaucratic constraints include difficulties, ambiguities and delays in the registration process and the renewal of registration of humanitarian entities by the relevant authorities, difficulties, ambiguities and delays in processing visas and security clearances for international humanitarian staff as well as the absence of clear standard operating procedures and consistent focal points overseeig the bureaucratic arrangements that concern humanitarian entities. In addition, the main humanitarian carrier in Libya, UNHAS, had to cancel seven of its scheduled flights during March because of the absence of clearances by the relevant authorities, denying around 60 humanitarian staff members access to Libya to perform their duties as planned. As of 19 March, due to COVID-related restrictions the UNHAS operation is facing challenges receiving permission to fly from the Tunisian Government. Despite the impartiality, neutrality and independence of the service, in the last few months UNHAS has been denied access into Libya due to the absence of a functional de-confliction mechanism with the East of the country. As it provides safe, reliable air transport, the UNHAS operation and its access to the entirety of the country is of crucial importance to the continuation of humanitarian and development assistance in Libya

In terms of humanitarian movements within Libya, there were 45 reports of restrictions of movement of personnel and humanitarian supplies and interference in the delivery of relief and implementation of activities during the month, which constitutes about 5% of all reported access constraints.

Humanitarian agencies in the East are not be permitted to import and deliver much needed health items, including lifesaving assistance to those in need. Also, among the issues raised in this category are humanitarian items being denied entry to certain locations by authorities for political reasons.

A total of 28 reports (3% of all access constraint/incident reports) indicated that active fighting and military operations have reduced the ability of humanitarian partners to respond to humanitarian needs. The ongoing conflict and continuous fight and shelling have had an impact on the reporting organizations to perform their humanitarian work. Some humanitarian partners reported that the presence of extreme armed groups in certain locations, particularly in the South, hampered their ability to deliver their assistance during the month. Humanitarian partners also reported 16 access constraints (approximately 2% of all reported incidents) attributed to the physical environment, particularly, the lack of adequate infrastructure that is needed for humanitarian operations to be effective.

Humanitarian partners also reported 16 access constraints (approximately 2% of all reported incidents) attributed to the physical environment, particularly, the lack of adequate infrastructure that is needed for humanitarian operations to be effective

During the reporting period (March 2020), there were three reports of attacks on humanitarian personnel, goods and facilities. All reported attacks were inflicted on the Health Sector in the West. One doctor was killed, and two paramedics were wounded in these attacks. The attacks also completely destroyed and ambulance, and a main hospital had to suspend its ambulance and emergency departments due to the extensive use of gunfire inside the hospital by an unidentified group of people. Although this type of access constraint makes up less than 1% of all reported incidents and access constraints, its severity and impact on the affected community is extremely serious.

Other access constraints reported included fuel shortages and unreasonable demands for favors in exchange for allowing humanitarian supplies to pass to their intended destination. These constraints make up less than 1% of all access constraints reported.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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