On 19 August, the UN Refugee Agency commemorated World Humanitarian Day by saluting the courage of humanitarian workers and refugees who dedicate their time to serve other refugees. Fatima, a Sudanese refugee in Libya and a community health mobilizer, guides fellow refugees and helps them through difficulties and hardship. She works with UNHCR’s medical partner, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) who are providing free healthcare at a clinic in Gergarish district in Tripoli where many refugees and asylum-seekers live.
As of 20 August, 7,122 refugees and migrants have been registered as rescued/intercepted at sea by the Libyan Coast Guard and disembarked in Libya. So far this year, a total of 2,176 persons of concern to UNHCR disembarked in Libya. On 19 August, 74 individuals mainly from Gambia and Cameroon were brought back to the Tripoli Naval Base. UNHCR and its partner, IRC were present at the disembarkation point to provide urgent medical assistance and core relief items (CRIs) before individuals are transferred to detention centres by the Libyan authorities. Following news of a shipwreck off the Libyan coast on 17 August, in which 45 persons lost their lives, UNHCR and IOM released a joint statement regarding this tragic event.
Last week, UNHCR registered 193 refugees and asylum-seekers mainly from Sudan (156) but also Syria (14), Eritrea (10), Somalia (4), Yemen (4), Ethiopia (2), Iraq (2) and South Sudan (1). Another 111 individuals had their files updated with information such as family status and contact details. So far this year, a total of 5,120 refugees and asylum-seekers were registered with UNHCR Libya.
Provision of cash assistance continues for refugees, asylum-seekers and internally displaced persons (IDPs). During the reporting period, UNHCR’s partner CESVI provided cash grants to 44 individuals (24 families) including regular cash assistance (30 individuals) and emergency cash assistance (14 individuals). UNHCR’s partner, the Danish Refugee Council also provided pre-paid cash cards to 163 displaced families (863 individuals) in Yefren (Nafusa mountains) and 22 IDPs in Tripoli. As of 19 August, UNHCR has provided cash assistance to a total of 4,609 individuals, including 1,747 IDPs and 2,862 refugees.
Presently, an estimated 2,267 refugees and migrants are being held in detention centres in Libya. Of these, 1,223 are persons of concern to UNHCR. Protection visits to detention centres continue to be undertaken by UNHCR and its partners to assess the conditions of refugees and asylum-seekers being held in detention, provide assistance such as CRIs, medical aid as well as protection services including registration. Last week, UNHCR’s partner in eastern Libya, Première Urgence Internationale conducted a visit to Ganfouda detention centre.