UNHCR Update Libya (13 September 2019)

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 13 Sep 2019 View Original

Highlights

On 12 September, UNHCR evacuated 98 vulnerable refugees out of Libya to Italy, amidst ongoing conflict in Tripoli. This was the third humanitarian evacuation to Italy so far this year. The evacuees are from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, and include 52 unaccompanied children. Most of the refugees had been in detention in Libya for more than eight months. The group included refugees who were detained in the Ain Zara, Abusliem, Al Sabaa, Alkhums, Alkhums, Suq Alkhamis, Azzawya, Qasr Bin Ghasheer, Tajoura and Triq Al Sika detention centres. Prior to the evacuation, the refugees were being hosted in a Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF) in Tripoli, after UNHCR had secured their release from detention. There they were provided with food, shelter, medical assistance including psycho-social support, as well as clothes and hygiene kits. With this evacuation, UNHCR has assisted 1,474 vulnerable refugees with leaving Libya in 2019, including 710 to Niger, 393 to Italy, and 371 who have been resettled to other countries in Europe and Canada.

On 10 September, the Government of Rwanda, UNHCR, and the African Union signed a Memorandum of Understanding to set up a transit mechanism for refugees and asylum-seekers evacuated out of Libya.

Rwanda will receive and provide protection to refugees and asylum-seekers who are currently being held in detention centres in Libya. A first group of 50 refugees and asylum-seekers is scheduled to be evacuated to Rwanda in the upcoming weeks.

Population movements

As of 13 September, 6,058 refugees and migrants were rescued/intercepted at sea by the Libyan Coast Guard and disembarked in Libya in 2019. So far this month, 132 individuals disembarked in Al-Khums (108 individuals) and Tripoli (28 individuals). Disembarkations increased in August (1,380 individuals) when compared to data from previous months July (856 individuals) and June (1,336 individuals). UNHCR and its partner, the International Medical Corps (IMC), continue to provide medical assistance and core-relief items to individuals at disembarkation points. Over the past few weeks, boats departed from areas west of Tripoli, near Zwara and Al Khums and east of Tripoli, near Al Khums.

UNHCR response

There are currently 5,100 refugees and migrants held in detention centres in Libya. Out of these, 3,700 are persons of concern to UNHCR. Since the beginning of the year, UNHCR and partners conducted over 900 monitoring visits to detention centres to register persons of concern, identify the most vulnerable for solutions in third countries and provide humanitarian and medical assistance.

UNHCR and its partner ACTED continue to support internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Benghazi, eastern region and Sabha, southern region. Last week, UNHCR and ACTED provided cash assistance to 330 IDPs in Benghazi and 60 IDPs in Sebha. Since the beginning of the year, UNHCR distributed cash grants to over 5,000 IDPs in Tripoli, Aljafara, Benghazi, Sabha and Wadi Ashshati.

Cash is mostly used to cover basic needs, including food, hygiene items, fuel, and other household costs.