Libya + 14 more

UNHCR Flash Update Libya (9 - 18 October 2017)


Key figures

217,022 Libyans currently internally displaced (IDPs)

278,559 returned IDPs (returns registered in 2017)

1 43,133 registered refugees and asylumseekers in Libya

109,915 persons arrived in Italy by sea so far in 2017 2


USD 75.5 M requested in 2017

Population Movements

The humanitarian response in Sabratha is being coordinated through the Mixed Migration Working Group that is co-led by UNHCR and IOM, in coordination with relevant authorities. During the last ten days, UNHCR and partners have been responding to the urgent needs of over 14,000 refugees and migrants who had been held by smugglers in different farms, houses and warehouses in and around the coastal city of Sabratha (80 km west of Tripoli). UNHCR and partners continue to provide medical and humanitarian assistance. As a priority, UNHCR teams have been working on identifying refugees and they continue to advocate for their release.

Some 4250 refugees and migrants were present yesterday at Gharyan, where UNHCR continues to provide emergency food and medical assistance. Protection assessments are underway to identify vulnerabilities amongst persons of concern. A total of 4,200 individuals were present at Triq al Matar as of yesterday, where core relief items were distributed.

UNHCR Response

So far in 2017, 12,615 refugees and migrants have been rescued/intercepted at sea by the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG). In October, a total of 243 refugees and migrants were rescued/intercepted during three operations by the LCG. The last event occurred on 17 October, when 120 individuals were disembarked at the Tripoli Naval base. The group was transferred to a detention centre where UNHCR and its partner IMC provided immediate medical assistance and advocated for the release of UNHCR persons of concern. So far in 2017, the nationalities of individuals disembarked in Libya following a rescue/interception at sea operation included Nigeria (12%), Mali (8%), Morocco (7%), Sudan (6%), Senegal (6%), Bangladesh (5%) and Gambia (5%). Eritrean, Syrian, Ethiopian, Palestinian, Somali and Sudanese nationals were also identified. The primary objective of UNHCR’s interventions at disembarkation points in Libya is to save lives and ensure the early identification and immediate protection of UNHCR persons of concern, mainly refugees and asylum seekers. In addition, UNHCR continues to advocate with authorities for the release from detention of refugees and asylum seekers.

Efforts to implement quick-impact projects (QIPs) throughout the country continue, targeting IDPs, returnees and host communities. Through its partners CIR, Mercy Corps and ACTED, UNHCR is undertaking needs assessments throughout the country and consulting with communities, civil society organizations, authorities and other stakeholders, with a view to identifying possible projects as QIPs. In the context of the emergency response in Sabratha, QIPs are currently being discussed with local authorities to support the health and education sectors, which have been most affected by the clashes.

Despite the evolving security situation in Tripoli, during the week, UNHCR and its partners CESVI and IMC assisted 616 refugees and asylum seekers in the two Community Development Centres (CDCs) in Tripoli. They provided primary healthcare and counselling. The majority of refugees approaching CDCs this week were Syrian, Sudanese, Palestinian and Ethiopian refugees. Language classes continued in the Social Centre in Tripoli.