On 26 January, UNHCR evacuated 134 vulnerable refugees, including 74 unaccompanied and separated children, from Libya to UNHCR’s Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) in Niger. There, they will await durable solutions, including resettlement. With this flight, UNHCR will have evacuated 523 refugees from Libya (361 to the Niger ETM and 162 to Italy). In September 2017, the High Commissioner appealed for 40,000 additional resettlement places for 15 priority countries of asylum and transit along the Central Mediterranean route. Against these projected needs, UNHCR has to date received approximately 13,000 offers of resettlement places in 2018 and 2019. UNHCR continues to identify and process vulnerable cases for resettlement and other durable solutions, including from its urban caseload.
Over the last three months, UNHCR processed and referred 400 cases of those in need of resettlement directly from Libya.
On 25 January, the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya launched the Humanitarian Response Plan 2018 for Libya, to support the humanitarian needs of 940,000 people living in the country. The event was co-chaired by H.E. Fayez al-Sarraj, President of the Presidency Council, and Dr. Ghassan Salame, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya. Under the HRP, UNHCR is appealing for $ 85 million.
So far in 2018, over 1,430 refugees and migrants were disembarked in Libya by the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG). In January 2018, UNHCR has observed an increase in numbers of rescue/interception operations conducted by the LCG when compared to the same month in 2017 (1,025 individuals) and previous months such as November (1,214 individuals) and December 2017 (1,157 individuals). During January, departures were predominantly recorded in the area east of Tripoli, near Garabulli, and to a lesser extent in areas around Sabratha and Zwara. UNHCR partner International Medical Corps provided medical assistance and distributed core relief items at disembarkation points and detention centres.
On 25 January, UNHCR and UNICEF jointly distributed winter clothes for children in the Triq Al Matar detention centre in Tripoli. To provide relief from the cold temperatures, UNHCR will continue the distribution in several detention centres and urban areas.
The rehabilitation of the Gathering and Departure facility in Tripoli continues. The facility will host up to 160 vulnerable refugees for short stays before their evacuation or resettlement to third countries. At the facility, UNHCR staff and partners will provide registration and life-saving assistance such as accommodation, food, medical care and psychosocial support.
UNHCR continues to support over 1,100 refugees and asylum-seekers on a weekly basis in the two Community Development Centres in Tripoli.
UNHCR, IMC and CESVI are assisting refugees with primary healthcare, provision of psychosocial support, cash, core relief items, registration and documentation.