Protracted conflict and related instability continue to dominate in Libya, with shifts in contact lines in 2020 leading to one of the largest displacement spikes documented since 2011.1 Despite an official ceasefire agreement in October, the situation in several areas such as Sirt remains tense and independent militias continue to be active. 2,3 An oil blockade instated in January and lasting until September deepened the economic crisis in the country, further exacerbating the liquidity shortage that has characterised the Libyan market since conflict in 2014 reduced government revenues and cash flows, and deepened mistrust in the banking system. 4,5 This protracted economic and political crisis has restricted access to cash for households, which in the cash based economy has an impact on the ability of households to meet their basic needs. 6,7Within this already complex humanitarian context, COVID19 reached Libya in March, putting additional pressure on the economy, the labour market and a health system particularly susceptible to conflict related violence. 8,9,10 As COVID-19 spread throughout the country, health facilities continued to come under attack, with at least 25 facilities affected by violence by May 2020.In this context, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) with support from REACH and with extensive input from all active sectors and working groups in Libya, conducted a country wide Multi-Sector Needs Assessment (MSNA) at mantika level (admin level 2) in Libya. The primary purpose of the assessment was to inform 2021 humanitarian response planning and support a targeted and evidence-based humanitarian response. Data from the 2020 MSNA has been used to feed into the 2021 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO).
The assessment consisted of a quantitative and a qualitative component. Quantitative data collection took place between 24 June and 14 August 2020 and consisted of 6,061 household surveys. The sample was stratified on mantika and displacement status, with sampling quotas for non-displaced, IDP, and returnee populations for each mantika. Due to the operating environment in light of COVID-19, all household surveys were conducted over the phone. Phone numbers were sourced from respondent referrals and contact lists from organizations active in Libya.
The sampling strategy used was a non-probability sampling approach, using minimum quotas per mantika and displacement status. Therefore, the findings cannot be taken as statistically representative at mantika level (admin level 2); as far as possible, biases in the data were identified and mitigated through triangulation with local actors and qualitative data collection, while any outlying data was removed. Qualitative data collection consisted of 93 key informant interviews (KIIs) and took place during November and December. The topic and location of KIIs was informed by findings from the quantitative data. In addition, two focus group discussions (FGDs) with women were conducted in Sebha on the topic of gender-based violence (GBV) by the International Medical Corps (IMC)12, and a series of online FGDs were conducted in coordination with the Food Security Sector to update the consumptionbased coping strategies index (CSI), as part of a complementary output to the MSNA. All findings were contextualized and triangulated with secondary sources.