Sidi Khalifa Multi-Sectoral Needs Assessment Report November 2021

Originally published


Sidi Khalifa is a semi-rural coastal town located 20 km northeast of Benghazi’s city centre in Libya. Locally, Sidi Khalifa is considered the eastern entry point of the city of Benghazi. Though Sidi Khalifa itself has not witnessed armed conflict in recent years, the town hosts a diverse array of communities displaced from Libya’s decade long conflict, including internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Murzuq, Tawergha, Benghazi city centre, Al-Sabri, Al-Lethyi, and Tarhouna. Sidi Khalifa’s long distance from basic services, including limited connection to the main water network, is known to contribute to vulnerabilities amongst the town’s residents. The influx of IDPs has also added pressure to the town’s already overstretched services. Yet likely due to the Sidi Khalifa’s remote geographical location, little to no assistance has been provided by international organizations or local Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to residents in the area.

The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has had a presence in Benghazi city and the surrounding areas affected by displacement since 2018. Sidi Khalifa was selected for a multi-sectoral needs assessment as part of wider efforts to highlight needs in Hard-to-Reach and underserved areas across Libya.

1.1 Key Findings

The NRC Libya’s Rapid Needs Assessment (RNA) team undertook household and community- level assessments covering Sidi Khalifa, an underserved town northeast of Benghazi with a high number if IDPs, between March and June 2021. The data collection included three Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) with local officials and household surveys with 348 residents of the town, nearly a third of whom were IDPs. Below are key findings identified from the assessment:

  • Most IDPs residing in Sidi Khalifa were displaced from other towns and cities in eastern Libya, the largest portion of which are from Al-Sabri district in Benghazi

  • The majority of the IDPs surveyed had been displaced for more than five years, largely displaced during the conflict in 2014 or the beginning of the uprising in 2011

  • While most residents surveyed in Sidi Khalifa appeared to own their homes, most IDPs rent accommodations. More than 60% of IDPs surveyed were unable to return to their areas of origin because their homes were still destroyed

  • While most respondents reported having a stable source of water, the majority were purchasing water bottles for drinking water needs, which aligns with the norm of the wider Libyan population

  • More than a quarter of IDP respondents said that members of their household were missing some form of civil documentation

  • Most school-aged children – IDP and host community – were enrolled in school. Those households who had children out of school were mostly due to inability to afford transportation fees, or because their children were supporting the family or at home caring for other children in the household

  • Nearly half of households reported having at least one member of the household with a serious medical condition, and 11% of households had a family member with a disability. Affordability was reported as a major challenge in accessing health services, including medication

  • Overall, 90% of respondents said that they faced difficulties meeting their basic needs

  • Most residents surveyed said they intend to remain in their current location for the time being. Despite limited availability of services in Sidi Khalifa, the low cost of living – particularly regarding housing – appears to remain an incentive for IDPs and other vulnerable households to remain in the area