In March 2016, Save the Children International and Handicap International conducted a Protection Assessment in Libya (PAL), with a focus on the situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs). The overall purpose was to assess immediate and midterm protection needs in Tripoli and Benghazi. The PAL obtained a sample of 992 household interviews and conducted key informant interviews.
The PAL estimates that 70% of IDPs in Tripoli are in need for humanitarian assistance. In Benghazi, 86% of IDPs and 80% of residents are in need. 48% of the assessed households have not received any humanitarian assistance despite pressing needs.
About one quarter of all assessed households feel not protected enough or completely unprotected against violence, especially IDPs. Female respondents feel less protected than male respondents. IDP households are the population group most at risk of protection issues, followed by refugees and migrants, and residents hosting IDPs.
The majority of respondents report symptoms of psychological distress as a consequence of experienced protection concerns, including the majority of children.
The breakdown of law and order, including indiscriminate attacks on civilians, housing, land or property related issues (especially for IDPs), and the lack or loss of personal documents are the three most commonly observed protection concerns.
14% of the population assessed reported facing specific needs. IDPs families have higher levels of vulnerability with 15% of their members facing specific needs compared to 12% for residents. Nearly 7% of all households interviewed reported chronic illnesses or members facing critical medical conditions, especially in Tripoli.
Interviewed families allocate one-third of their expenditure to rent and housing, particularly in Benghazi, where 77% of IDPs are settled in rented housing at their own expense. Many are facing eviction when they are unable to pay rent. Consequently, shelter support is the main priority for IDPs, while health needs rank highest for residents, followed by food needs and protection. In urban Benghazi, protection needs were among the top three needs of the population, due to the significant impact the conflict has had in the urban areas and limited access to basic goods and services.
Landmine clearance and prevention was requested across all assessed areas, and ranked highest in urban Benghazi. Tensions between population groups are observed in Benghazi, especially in rural areas. The main reasons are overcrowding of residential areas and competition for limited resources. Access to sustained formal protection services continues to be a major challenge for the population in need due to ongoing conflicts and restricted movement.
Save the Children International
Rania Ahmed, Libya Team Leader/Egypt Deputy CD
Libya Country Programme
Ann Barthés, Head of Mission