As of 9 May, a total of 6,270 refugees and migrants have been registered as rescued/intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) and disembarked in Libya in 2021. Additionally, on 10 May, around 600 people were intercepted at sea by the LCG and returned to Tripoli and Zawiya. UNHCR and its medical partner, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), were present at the disembarkation points to provide urgent medical assistance and core relief items (CRIs) before individuals were transferred to detention centres by the Libyan authorities. Another two boats capsized off the coast of Libya on Sunday and Monday, leaving scores of bodies washed ashore and at least two dozen people presumed dead.
UNHCR’s reception team received and processed a total of 479 individuals, including 82 individuals with refugee-status determination and resettlement appointments. A total of 228 refugees and asylum-seekers were also registered with the majority of nationals from Sudan (137) followed by Syria (59), Eritrea (11), Palestine (9), South Sudan (4), Somalia (3), Ethiopia (3) and Iraq (2). The newly registered individuals were provided with their UNHCR certificates. In addition, continuous registration services such as adding members, splitting files, or renewal of certificates and updating relevant data were provided to a total of 166 individuals.
UNHCR uses cash-based interventions to provide protection, assistance and services to the most vulnerable. Cash and vouchers help the displaced meet a variety of needs, including access to food, water, healthcare, shelter, that allow them to build and support livelihoods. Last week, UNHCR’s partner, CESVI provided cash assistance to a total of 210 refugees and asylum-seekers (132 families) living in the urban community in Tripoli. This included Regular Cash Assistance to 41 individuals and Emergency Cash Assistance to 169 individuals. Vulnerabilities of those who received assistance included 13 per cent who suffer from physical disability and impairment, 13 per cent who are diagnosed with chronic disease and 6 per cent who suffer mental disabilities. For internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees, and host communities, partner ACTED in eastern Libya distributed pre-paid cash cards to 3,356 IDPs (546 families) in Benghazi and 2,374 IDPs (403 families) in Sebha.
UNHCR’s hotlines remain available to respond to the enquiries of persons of concern in Libya. Last week, UNHCR received more than 200 calls on its registration, community and Benghazi hotlines as well as the call centre. UNHCR’s teams provided information on cash, material assistance, registration and durable solutions.
Presently, there are an estimated 4,502 refugees and migrants (including 88 per cent men and 12 per cent women) held in official detention centres in Libya. Of these, 1,104 are persons of concern to UNHCR who continues to advocate for an end to detention and the orderly release of all refugees into the urban community where UNHCR continues to strengthen its response. Following UNHCR’s advocacy, 122 refugees and asylum-seekers have been released from detention in 2021 so far.
Through its partners, UNHCR maintains a footprint with assistance and as of 9 May, has provided 1,728 individuals with CRIs, including blankets, mattresses, hygiene kits, soap and clothes. In addition, 626 primary health consultations have been provided by IRC, and 39 protection monitoring visits undertaken.