Libya UNHCR Flash Update: Tawerghan IDP Response (19 February 2018) [EN/AR]


Key figures

180,937 Libyans currently internally displaced (IDPs)

334,662 returned IDPs (returns registered in 2016 – 2017)

40,000 estimated IDPs from Tawergha displaced since 2011

Situation Update

In coordination with UN agencies and local partners, UNHCR is responding to the needs of over 1,220 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Tawergha stranded in Qararat al Qataf and in Harawa. Following the Presidency Council’s decree of 26 December 2017 indicating the start date for the return process, IDP families from the east, south and west of Libya attempted to return to Tawergha on 1 February. Armed groups, apparently opposing their return, blocked them from entering the city. Since then, IDPs have been gathering in the area of Qararat al Qataf (some 50 km southwest of Tawergha), and in Harawa (east of Sirte).

While negotiations for the return are ongoing, UNHCR has led an inter-agency emergency needs assessment in coordination with UN agencies, partners and local civil society organizations. The main needs reported are adequate shelter, food, baby items, hygiene kits, mattresses, blankets and primary healthcare.

UNHCR Response Since the beginning for crisis, UNHCR staff and its partner LibAid have been on the ground in Qararat al Qataf and Harawa. UNHCR has set up a warehouse in the area for the urgent delivery of relief items and is monitoring the situation at both sites.

In Qararat al Qataf, UNHCR distributed more than 2,000 blankets, 500 kitchen sets, 1,000 hygiene kits, 2,000 sleeping mats, 200 solar lamps, 217 tents, water and winter clothing for adults and children. Over 1,000 individuals are currently living in temporary shelters.

In Harawa, UNHCR and its partner LibAid distributed 200 blankets, 200 sleeping mats, 40 hygiene kits, 40 solar lamps, and 40 kitchen sets to over 220 Tawerghan IDPs.

Considerations The Tawergha community has endured years of displacement since 2011, when the entire population of the city, estimated to be around 40,000 people, were forced to leave their hometown. Since then, they have been displaced and scattered across the country. UNHCR has been supporting the different Tawergha IDP settlements with humanitarian assistance, including essential relief items, cash assistance, protection, and small-scale community projects.

As the lead agency for the protection of internally displaced persons, UNHCR will continue advocating on behalf of IDPs and other vulnerable groups and will continue to provide humanitarian assistance until those displaced can find durable solutions, including to return home in conditions of voluntariness, dignity and safety, and to liaise with humanitarian partners, IDP communities and authorities in this regard.

Special thanks to major donors:

Australia | Denmark | European Union | Germany | Italy | The Netherlands | Norway | Sweden | Switzerland | United Kingdom