Libya + 4 more

UNHCR Flash Update Libya (9 - 16 February 2018)


Key figures

  • 180,937 Libyans currently internally displaced (IDPs)

  • 334,662 returned IDPs (returns registered in 2016 – 2017)

  • 46,730 registered refugees and asylum seekers in the State of Libya

  • 4,740 persons arrived in Italy by sea in 2018

  • 150 monitoring visits to detention centres so far in 2018 (1,080 in 2017).

  • 716 asylum-seekers and refugees released from detention so far in 2018 (1,428 in 2017)

  • Funding USD 88.7 M required for 2018.


Since November 2017, UNHCR has evacuated over 1,000 highly vulnerable refugees out of Libya. On 10 February, a flight departed from Tripoli evacuating 130 refugees to Niamey, Niger. A second flight departed on 13 February with 128 refugees onboard. With the cooperation of UNHCR’s partners and thanks to the support of the government of Niger, the evacuated people are being accommodated in UNHCR’s Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) in Niamey, where assistance and psychosocial support are available while applications for resettlement or other durable solutions are pending.

In addition, on 14 February, a plane took 150 refugees from Tripoli to Rome, bringing the total number of refugees evacuated since the beginning of UNHCR’s humanitarian evacuation operation to 1,084 (770 to Niger, 312 to Italy, and two to Romania). The second direct evacuation from Libya to Italy was only made possible through the strong commitment of the Italian authorities and the support of the Libyan Government. Upon arrival in Rome, refugees went through medical checks and were provided with warm clothing and a hot meal before undergoing identification procedures. The refugees were then transferred to various reception facilities.

UNHCR Response

UNHCR continues to support the internally displaced Tawerghan community stranded in Qararat al Qataf (east of Bani Walid) and in Harawa (east of Sirte) in conjunction with its partner LibAid. Despite an initial agreement by the parties involved, internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Tawergha are still being prevented from returning to their hometown (40 km southeast of Misrata). In Qararat al Qataf, UNHCR is actively distributing nonfood items such as blankets, winter clothing, hygiene kits, sleeping mats, solar lamps and tents. In addition, UNHCR led a rapid inter-agency needs assessment exercise in coordination with UN agencies, authorities, and local partners. The most urgent needs identified were shelter, food, primary healthcare, specific support for children and babies, and basic household items, to ensure shelter from the cold temperatures.

In coordination with authorities, partners and civil society, UNHCR is providing support to the refugees who survived a road accident on 14 February near Bani Walid. Since the accident, UNHCR has been coordinating with authorities and local partners on the ground to ensure all necessary assistance is made available. Six individuals who are suffering from multiple injuries have been transferred to Tripoli, where UNHCR is supporting them with medical care in a private hospital. UNHCR and its partner International Medical Corps are responding to the critical health conditions of an additional 18 patients in hospitals.

UNHCR is providing winter relief to over 1,280 IDPs and returnees in Benghazi. Through its partner LibAid, UNHCR distributed heaters, blankets, hygiene kits, solar lamps, school bags, and kitchen sets for families living in areas north of Benghazi such as Al-Sabri, Sook Al Hoot and Sidi Khreibish.
These distributions will continue over the next few days with a view to reaching 460 families. Benghazi currently hosts the largest number of IDPs in Libya (over 38,000 individuals).