On 19 December, UNHCR evacuated 103 vulnerable refugees and asylumseekers from Libya to Italy, including 88 individuals hosted in the Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF) in Tripoli. This marks the second evacuation conducted from the GDF since its opening on 4 December. Refugees and asylum-seekers were previously detained in five detention centres. The remaining 15 refugees who departed to Italy were living in the urban community.
Since November 2017, UNHCR has evacuated 2,793 refugees out of Libya including 2,202 to Niger, 415 to Italy and 176 to Romania.
UNHCR continues to identify, process and submit cases for resettlement and other durable solutions. Since September 2017, UNHCR submitted 1,048 cases to seven resettlement countries, of whom 419 already departed Libya. In December, UNHCR facilitated the resettlement of 153 refugees to Canada.
UNHCR continues to register persons in need of international protection held in detention centres. UNHCR estimates that 4,900 refugees and migrants are detained in Libya, of whom 3,650 are of concern to UNHCR. This week, UNHCR conducted a registration mission to Suq Al Khamis (126 km east of Tripoli) where 106 individuals were registered. Over the coming weeks, UNHCR plans to expand its registration activities to other detention centres in the central region. Since October, UNHCR has registered more than 2,830 persons in need of international protection in detention centers.
UNHCR remains concerned about the situation in Sabaa detention centre (southeastern area of Tripoli), where over 230 refugees and migrants have limited or no access to food. UNHCR is advocating for their release and for the urgent provision of food. So far in 2018, UNHCR advocated for the release of over 6,480 refugees and asylum-seekers from detention, 40 per cent of whom were released mainly for the purpose of evacuation to third countries.
UNHCR and its partner LibAid continued to distribute winter assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Tripoli. During the week, over 2,050 IDPs received blankets, dignity kits, plastic sheets, heaters, gloves, rain coats, socks and winter jackets.
On 15 December, through its partner LibAid, UNHCR started the distribution of shelter kits for 600 IDP returnee families in the city of Tawergha (over 290 km east of Tripoli). These kits will support the repair of shelters and infrastructure severely damaged in 2011. Currently, Tawergha is hosting 165 families who returned to the city over the past months.
UNHCR and its partners continue to support IDP returnees and host communities with quick impact projects (QIPs) in Benghazi. This week, a QIP was completed by partner ACTED at the Al Sad Alaly secondary school in Benghazi. UNHCR provided office desks, computers, printers, and sport items to support children attending the school. The school is used by more than 500 students, including many returnees.