UNHCR Flash Update Libya - Situation in Sabratha (10 October 2017)

from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 10 Oct 2017

Key figures

  • 217,022 Libyans currently internally displaced (IDPs)

  • 1 278,559 returned IDPs (returns registered in 2017)

  • 43,133 registered refugees and asylum seekers in Libya

  • 106,488 persons arrived in Italy by sea so far in 2017

Funding USD 75.5 M requested in 2017


Today, UNHCR teams were present in the Dahman hangar assembly point and Gharyan detention centre to assess needs and to respond to the humanitarian situation following events in Sabratha.

Overall, the most pressing needs include psychosocial support, emergency medical care, food, water, core relief items and shelter, as many refugees and migrants, including children and vulnerable individuals, are sleeping out in the open.

UNHCR teams identified individuals suffering from injuries, dehydration, scabies, asthma, diarrhea and severe trauma due to the events lived over the past days.

Unaccompanied and separated children have also been identified, with some children reporting the recent loss of their parents during the last few days.

In Dahman, UNHCR estimates that 4,200 migrants and refugees are in urgent need of assistance, including Somali and Eritrean pregnant women and children. Sudanese refugees have also been identified.

In Gharyan, UNHCR estimates that 1,900 refugees and migrants are present on site, including refugee women and children. Transfers to and from the centre by authorities continue.

UNHCR’s response

UNHCR is delivering emergency assistance to respond to the evolving humanitarian situation. UNHCR has delivered some 9,000 core relief items including sleeping mats, blankets, sleeping bags, plastic sheets and baby kits to Dahman and Gharyan sites. Distribution will resume tomorrow.

As part of the Mixed Migration Working Group, today, UNHCR undertook a needs assessment in Dahman and will continue to coordinate the humanitarian response in light of the most urgent needs identified. UNHCR teams were also present at Gharyan to assess the needs and distribute humanitarian assistance.

UNHCR is calling for the release of detained refugees. Since 2016, 1,347 refugees have been released from detention following UNHCR’s efforts, including 769 in 2017 alone.

In addition, UNHCR is working with its partner LibAid and the Sabratha Local Crisis Committee to evaluate the needs of Libyan nationals displaced by the clashes, some of whom have started to return to their homes.