UNHCR Update Libya (03 July 2019) [EN/AR]

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 03 Jul 2019
preview

Key figures:

268,629 Libyans currently internally displaced (IDPs)
444,760 returned IDPs
52,902 registered refugees and asylum seekers
2,755 overall persons arrived in Italy
678 monitoring visits to detention centres
1,242 refugees and asylum-seekers released from detention
479 refugees and asylum-seekers currently hosted in the Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF); 1,708 individuals transited through the GDF since Dec. 2018
4,369 vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers departed since November 2017

Funding
USD 88.1 M required for 2019

Highlights

UNHCR and IOM have condemned yesterday’s attack on Tajoura detention centre and have called for an immediate investigation of those responsible. On 2 July, airstrikes hit Tajoura detention centre (north-eastern Tripoli) where over 600 refugees and migrants were being held. Out of these, 487 were registered with UNHCR. At least 80 persons have been injured and 40 have been killed. This latest violence in Tripoli also speaks to the danger both IOM and UNHCR have warned over returning migrants and refugees to Libya after their interception or rescue on the Mediterranean Sea. UNHCR and IOM strongly condemn this and any attack on civilian life and call for an immediate end to detention.

Today, UNHCR visited Tajoura detention centre as part of an inter-agency team. UNHCR was able to assess the situation, speak to refugees at the facility and provide food and water through its partner International Medical Corps (IMC) while options are being explored. On 9 May, UNHCR had relocated 80 vulnerable refugees from Tajoura detention centre to its GDF in the centre of Tripoli. The group included Eritrean, Ethiopian, Somali, Sudanese and Palestinians, as well as 48 children, out of whom 39 were unaccompanied.

There are 3,800 refugees and migrants held in detention centres located near conflict areas in and around Tripoli. Since the onset of the crisis, UNHCR has relocated over 1,630 refugees and asylum-seekers to the GDF or to detention centres located in safer areas, due to the lack of other alternatives. Currently, there are 479 refugees and asylum-seekers hosted in the GDF in Tripoli. Over the past three months, UNHCR has evacuated 589 individuals to Niger (294 individuals) and to Italy (295 individuals). UNHCR reiterates its call on the international community to provide humanitarian corridors for refugees to be evacuated out of Libya.

Population movements

Since 4 April, 104,000 individuals have been displaced (IDPs) due to the conflict in Tripoli. The majority of IDPs have moved to safer areas within Tripoli, cities along the coast and the Nafusa Mountains. So far in 2019, UNHCR, through its partner LibAid, has distributed core-relief items (CRIs) to over 12,000 IDPs throughout Libya.

As of 3 July, 3,686 refugees and migrants were rescued/intercepted at sea by the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) in 2019. UNHCR has noted an increase of disembarkations during May and June, with 2,560 refugees and migrants rescued/intercepted at sea. Two disembarkations took place on 27 June, when 229 refugees and migrants were disembarked at Al Khums port. UNHCR and its partner IMC provided medical assistance and CRIs to those disembarked before they were transferred to a detention centre by the authorities.

UNHCR response

UNHCR is registering persons of concern in Al Khums, Suq Al Khamis, Zliten and Kareem detention centres. On 30 June, UNHCR transferred 19 Eritreans from Al Khums detention centre to its GDF in Tripoli. Al Khums detention centre is now empty.

UNHCR continues to implement quick-impact projects (QIPs) to support IDPs and returnees. QIPs are small, rapidly implemented projects intended to help create conditions for peaceful coexistence between those displaced and their hosting communities. This week, UNHCR, through the Danish Refugee Council, renovated WASH facilities, delivered furniture and medical devices to a clinic in Azzawiya that is supporting 600 patients on a daily basis.