Since violence erupted in Libya in February 2011, more than 606,800 migrants have fled to neighbouring countries: over 271,000 into Tunisia, more than 195,000 into Egypt, 76,000 into Niger, some 14,000 into Algeria, 48,000 to Chad and some 2,800 to Sudan. Thousands more, including Libyan nationals and people originating from conflict-affected countries, such as Somalia, Eritrea, Iraq, continue to cross the borders, with approximately 9,000 Libyans currently in Egypt and some 120,000 in Tunisia. Despite the difficulty of access to people inside Libya, UNHCR and other agencies carried out inter-agency assessment missions and estimate that the number of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Eastern Libya stands at approximately 56,000 people. In addition, UNHCR has visited Janzoor in western Libya where 1,600 IDPs, mainly from Misrata, are hosted since February. In Al-Gharyan in the Nafusa Mountains of western Libya, some 1,500 displaced families (9,000 people) were registered, originating from Awawniyeh, Ajdabiyeh, Zintan, Al-Rayayneh, Jadu and Kikla.
The large scale population movement continues to cause a significant humanitarian burden for Libya’s neighbours, some of which are coping with the consequences of their own political upheaval. Following requests from the Governments of Egypt and Tunisia that were faced, at its peak, with some 15,000 - 20,000 people crossing their borders each day, UNHCR mounted an exceptional response. In the first month, UNHCR: i) mobilized some 90 staff to reinforce existing resources in the region; ii) airlifted hundreds of tonnes of humanitarian assistance, including tents, to Egypt and Tunisia; iii) initiated the contingency planning process for Egypt and Tunisia to respond to a population outflow from Libya; iv) supported the establishment and management of the main camp at Ras Jdir in Tunisia; and v) joined the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in facilitating the evacuation of tens of thousands of third country nationals.