UNHCR Flash Update Libya (9 - 15 December 2017)

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 15 Dec 2017

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

  • 117,979 persons arrived in Italy by sea so far in 2017

  • 987 monitoring visits to detention centres

  • 1,024 asylum-seekers and refugees released from detention

  • Funding USD 77.2 M requested in 2017

Highlights

On 14 December, UNHCR evacuated 74 Eritrean and Somali refugees (51 children, including 47 unaccompanied children, 22 women and one man) from the Triq al Sika detention centre in Tripoli to the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) in Niamey, Niger. This mechanism will facilitate solutions in third countries for vulnerable persons of concern to UNHCR. The solutions include resettlement, other complementary legal pathways, and voluntary repatriation. So far in 2017, UNHCR has evacuated 99 refugees from Libya to Niger. Another 87 refugees departed to third countries under private sponsorship or resettlement mechanisms.

In support of these movements, UNHCR has launched an urgent appeal calling for 1,300 resettlement places to be made available by end-March 2018 for highly vulnerable refugees stranded in Libya. “This is a desperate call for solidarity and humanity. We need to get extremely vulnerable refugees out of Libya as soon as possible,” said Volker Türk, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection. By end-January 2018, UNHCR plans to submit 400 refugees for resettlement and aims to evacuate some 700 vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers from Libya to Niger.

UNHCR Response

On 14 December, UNHCR through its partner ACTED, delivered six water pumps to improve the water management system in Benghazi. This is the first quick impact project implemented in the districts of Ganfouda and Guwarsha in western Benghazi. The pumps will help provide access to water for 6,000 families in these districts and contribute to the stabilization of the communities. In addition, through its partner LibAid, UNHCR distributed core relief items (CRIs) to 816 IDPs and returnees living in areas north of Benghazi. So far in 2017, UNHCR and LibAid have distributed humanitarian aid to over 20,300 IDPs and returnees living in the East.

So far in 2017, the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) rescued/intercepted a total of 14,527 refugees and migrants at sea. This week, the LCG rescued/intercepted 326 individuals in three operations. UNHCR and its partner IMC provided healthcare, food, blankets and hygiene kits. UNHCR’s interventions at disembarkation points in Libya have as their primary objective to save lives and ensure the early identification and immediate protection of UNHCR persons of concern, mainly refugees and asylum-seekers. So far in December, UNHCR staff have identified a total of 38 persons in need of international protection upon disembarkation in Libya, mainly Syrians, Palestinians and Somalis. In line with recent trends recorded in October and November, the boats departed from areas west of Tripoli.

On a weekly basis, UNHCR, IMC and CESVI are supporting over 880 refugees and asylum-seekers in the two Community Development Centres in Tripoli. The large majority are Sudanese, followed by Syrian, Ethiopian, Eritrean, Palestinian, Iraqi and Somali refugees. UNHCR and partners are assisting refugees and asylum-seekers with primary healthcare, cash-based interventions, CRIs, hygiene kits, and with the provision of psychosocial support. UNHCR continues to register refugees and provides documentation that allows them to access basic services such as medical facilities and public schools.