Libya + 6 more

UNHCR Flash Update Libya (16 November - 1 December 2017)

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Key figures

199,091 Libyans currently internally displaced (IDPs)

304,305 returned IDPs (returns registered in 2017)

44,306 registered refugees and asylumseekers in Libya

116,545 persons arrived in Italy by sea so far in 2017

Highlights

UNHCR welcomes the decision by the Libyan authorities to set up a “transit and departure facility” in Tripoli for people in need of international protection. This initiative will facilitate the transfer of thousands of vulnerable refugees to third countries. The main objective is to speed up the process of securing solutions in third countries. These solutions will include resettlement, family reunification, evacuation to UNHCR-run emergency facilities in other countries, or voluntary return, as appropriate. At the facility,
UNHCR staff and partners will provide registration and life-saving assistance such as accommodation, food, medical care and psychosocial support. This initiative is one of a range of measures needed to offer viable alternatives to the dangerous journeys undertaken by refugees and migrants along the Central Mediterranean route. In September, UNHCR called for an additional 40,000 resettlement places to be made available for refugees located in 15 countries along this route. So far, only 10,500 pledges have been made.

During the African Union (AU) – European Union (EU) Summit on 29 – 30 November, the leadership of the AU, EU and UN agreed to set up a task force to assist voluntary returns to countries of origin and accelerate resettlement procedures for those in need of international protection.
UNHCR will contribute to the task force in close cooperation with IOM.

Population movements

Over 14,200 refugees and migrants were rescued/intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) in 2017, of whom 1,214 were rescued/intercepted in November alone. During this week, UNHCR and partner IMC provided medical and material assistance to 252 individuals disembarked on 23 November, 610 individuals disembarked on 24 November and 155 persons disembarked on 25 November. During these interventions, UNHCR has noted an increase of Somali and Eritrean nationals and a decrease in the number of individuals from West Africa that had represented the majority of those disembarked throughout 2017.

UNHCR Response

UNHCR is grateful to the Government of France, which has agreed to resettle the 25 refugees who were evacuated from Libya to the Emergency Transit Mechanism in Niger. To date, 108 refugees have been resettled or evacuated from Libya to third countries.

There are over 17,000 refugees and migrants detained in official detention centres in Libya, of whom more than 2,170 are of concern to UNHCR. The detention of over 70 unaccompanied and separated children is of particular concern. UNHCR is strongly advocating for their release. So far in 2017, 950 refugees have been released from detention following UNHCR’s intervention.

Benghazi remains the region with the highest reported presence of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees. This week, UNHCR and its partner LibAid distributed core relief items, including winter jackets, to more than 500 Tawergha IDP families living in the Al Haleys settlement in Benghazi.
In addition, UNHCR and LibAid continued the distribution of core relief items in areas North of Benghazi, reaching over 4,519 IDPs and returnees.