Libya + 1 more

UNHCR Flash Update Libya - Situation in Sabratha (16 October 2017)


Key figures

217,022 Libyans currently internally displaced (IDPs)

278,559 returned IDPs (returns registered in 2017)

43,133 registered refugees and asylumseekers in Libya

108,764 persons arrived in Italy by sea so far in 2017

14,500 estimated refugees and migrants in Sabratha and surrounding areas


USD 75.5 M requested in 2017
Funded 49%
Gap 51%


Following clashes in and around the coastal city of Sabratha, UNHCR estimates that as of 16 October, 14,500 refugees and migrants who were previously held in informal detention centres have been transferred by Libyan authorities to official assembly points and detention centres. As a priority, UNHCR teams have been working on identifying refugees and they continue to advocate for their release.

In addition, it is estimated that an additional 6,000 migrants and refugees still remain captive, including women and children of concern to UNHCR whose whereabouts are unknown.

UNHCR is working closely with authorities in Sabratha, including the Sabratha Local Crisis Committee, to respond to the needs of IDPs and returnees. To date, some 1,000 families remain in need of assistance. Last week, UNHCR delivered 500 core relief items (CRIs) kits to the Sabratha Local Crisis Committee with a view to supporting the most vulnerable families. In addition, infrastructure in and around Sabratha have been severely affected, including schools and markets. More than 500 houses were partially or totally destroyed during the clashes. Following a meeting between UNHCR and the Mayor of Sabratha, UNHCR is planning to support affected schools and hospitals by refurbishing some facilities and providing water tanks and generators, among other interventions.

UNHCR’s response

Since the onset of the crisis, UNHCR has been providing emergency assistance and undertaking protection monitoring in ten locations (assembly points and detention centres) in Tripoli, Sabratha, Gharyan (90 km south of Tripoli) and Zuwara.

Today, 500 refugees and migrants are expected to spend the night at the Dahman assembly point in Sabratha. Many continue to sleep in the open. UNHCR and other humanitarian agencies are providing medical assistance, food, water, hygiene kits, and CRIs. In addition, UNHCR tents continue to operate as makeshift clinics, where doctors are providing daily medical assistance. Hygiene conditions in the Dahman assembly point remain a concern, with a lack of necessary sanitary facilities.

In Gharyan centre, there are currently 5,300 refugees and migrants, including 600 women and children who were transferred by authorities from the Dahman assembly point. The facility is overcrowded. UNHCR and its partner CESVI are the only two humanitarian organizations present on site. UNHCR continues to distribution CRIs and to provide food (3 hot meals per day).