UNHCR Flash Update Libya (12 - 19 October 2018) [EN/AR]
On 16 October, UNHCR evacuated 135 vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers (127 men, four women and four children) from Tripoli to UNHCR’s Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) in Niger. The group included Eritrean, Ethiopian, Somali and Sudanese nationals. This is the first evacuation to take place since June 2018. As a result of the heavy clashes in August, UNHCR had temporarily halted its humanitarian evacuation programme for the safety and security of its staff and persons of concern.
On the same day, 85 refugees from Syria, Sudan and Eritrea departed on two flights from Tripoli to Timisoara, Romania, with the assistance of IOM, the UN Migration Agency. They will be hosted temporarily at UNHCR’s Emergency Transit Centre before flying onwards to Norway for resettlement. As of 17 October, UNHCR evacuated 2,082 individuals out of Libya (1,675 to Niger, 312 to Italy and 95 to Romania).
UNHCR also submitted 930 individuals for resettlement directly from Libya to seven States (Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland).
As of 19 October, the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) rescued/intercepted 14,156 refugees and migrants (9,801 men, 2,126 women and 1,373 children) at sea during 108 operations. So far in 2018, the LCG recovered 99 bodies from the sea. The majority of individuals disembarked in Libya comprised Sudanese (1,847 individuals), Nigerians (1,832 individuals) and Eritreans (1,542 individuals). UNHCR and its partner International Medical Corps (IMC) continue to provide core-relief items (CRIs) and vital medical assistance both at the disembarkation points and in the detention centres to where individuals were subsequently transferred by the authorities. So far in 2018, UNHCR and its partner IMC provided 10,315 CRI kits and 1,543 medical consultations at the disembarkation points in Libya.
So far in 2018, UNHCR implemented 86 quick-impact projects (QIPs) across Libya.
In Tripoli, UNHCR and its partner Danish Refugee Council undertook a sanitation and hygiene (WASH) intervention to clean up grey water and solid waste. The project will contribute to the public health of a neighbourhood that is currently hosting internally displaced persons (IDPs). QIPs promote peaceful coexistence and strengthen the resilience of IDPs and their host communities.
On 14 October, UNHCR and its partner LibAid started a distribution campaign of school bags that will target 3,085 internally displaced children in eastern and southern Libya. Due to the liquidity crisis in Libya, the price of school materials has increased over the past years. With this campaign, UNHCR hopes to mitigate the financial impact that the start of the school year has on refugee families.
UNHCR continues its activities in detention centres. So far in 2018, UNHCR conducted 1,005 protection visits to detention centres where it distributed CRIs to 16,859 individuals. UNHCR’s partner IMC provided 21,577 primary healthcare consultations and 231 medical referrals to governmental hospitals. UNHCR continues to advocate for the release of all of its persons of concern from detention and for alternatives to detention. The situation in Zintan detention centre remains dire, with a partially broken sewage system and very limited access to potable water. The centre holds 1,350 refugees and migrants. In response, UNHCR and its partners continue to provide humanitarian assistance there, including daily medical assistance and winter clothes, as part of UNHCR’s winterization campaign.