UNHCR Flash Update Libya (23 - 31 August 2018) [EN/AR]

from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 31 Aug 2018

Key figures:

192,513 Libyans currently internally displaced (IDPs)

372,741 returned IDPs (returns registered in 2016 - April 2018)

55,088 registered refugees and asylumseekers in the State of Libya

19,720 persons arrived in Italy by sea in 2018

871 monitoring visits to detention centres so far in 2018

1,527 asylum-seekers and refugees released from detention so far in 2018

1,858 vulnerable refugees and asylumseekers evacuated since November 2017

Funding USD 85 M required for 2018


In a joint effort with the Libyan Ministry of Interior, the Department for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM) and other humanitarian actors, UNHCR supported an urgent evacuation of some 300 refugees and migrants held in Ain Zara detention centre in Tripoli. Tensions have been on the rise in the capital in recent days and armed groups are fighting in the immediate vicinity of the centre. Hundreds of refugees and migrants detained in Ain Zara were in clear danger of getting caught in the hostilities. Those evacuated were mainly Eritrean, Ethiopian and Somali nationals. All have been moved to the Abu Salim detention centre, which is in a relatively safer location where international organisations can provide aid to them. UNHCR is distributing basic aid items, including blankets, while IOM is providing mattresses, food and water. Should the situation in Abu Salim deteriorate, UNHCR will, in coordination with all actors, explore further relocations. UNHCR, as a matter of principle, opposes detention of refugees and asylum-seekers in need of international protection, but we are present wherever refugees are, in order to provide them with life-saving assistance and to advocate for their release from detention. UNHCR calls on the international community to provide solutions in third countries for refugees and asylum-seekers detained in Libya.

UNHCR and its partner LibAid visited a school in Tripoli where over 35 displaced Libyan families have sought shelter from the hostilities in Ain Zara, Salah al-Din and Khallat al-Farrjan Sala areas (south of Tripoli). These families are traumatized and in urgent need of food, drinking water and basic aid. UNHCR is working in coordination with the authorities and relevant partners to help these families. UNHCR continues to monitor the developments closely and is standing ready to respond to any new and immediate humanitarian needs.