As of 22 October, 9,389 refugees and migrants have been registered as rescued/intercepted at sea by the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) and disembarked in Libya. With the latest disembarkations, the figure of those rescued/intercepted at sea in 2020 has now surpassed that for the whole of 2019 (9,035).
UNHCR and its partner, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), remain present at disembarkation points in order to provide urgent medical assistance and core relief items (CRIs) before individuals are transferred to detention centres by the Libyan authorities. In September and onwards into October, authorities have increasingly been distributing survivors mostly between the same three detention centres: Abusliem, Azzawya Al-Nasr, and Triq Al-Sikka, with the latter having received almost 60 per cent of those disembarked in the period.
On 18 October, UNHCR met with the Head of the LCG who was supportive of the idea of setting up a joint technical team that could be used as a mechanism for resuming regular dialogue and improving co-ordination, especially in alerting UNHCR and its partners to imminent disembarkations. Capacity building for LCG staff was also discussed.
The 16 October marked World Food Day. UNHCR and WFP have scaled up their joint programme in order to support some of the most vulnerable and food-insecure refugees and asylum-seekers. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing numbers are unable to find work and so to feed themselves. To date, the programme has provided food parcels to some 10,000 refugees and asylum-seekers in the urban setting.
With COVID-19 still very much a concern across Libya, UNHCR continues to visit and make distributions to those in detention. Last week, UNHCR provided hygiene kits to a total of 473 at three detention centres: Al Nasr (257), Triq al Sikka (164), and Ganfouda (52). Since April, UNHCR and partners have distributed over 6,000 hygiene kits to the inmates of 16 detention centres. Blankets and mattresses were also distributed and to date nearly 5,400 blankets have been provided at 12 detention centres and 2,700 mattresses at nine detention centres.
UNHCR and partners, CESVI and IRC, continue to provide services in Tripoli at the Community Day Centre (CDC) and the Serraj Registration Office. Through CESVI, UNHCR distributed hygiene kits, soaps, and solar lamps to 158 individuals at both facilities. Last week, the IRC medical team at the CDC provided medical assistance to 110 asylum-seekers and refugees.
UNHCR cash assistance remains an effective protection tool, offering the most vulnerable the means of sustaining themselves. Last week, CESVI provided cash to a total of 81 refugee and asylum-seeker households (172 individuals). Regular cash assistance was delivered 14 households (56 individuals) and emergency cash assistance to 66 households (116 individuals). For internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and host communities, partner Danish Refugee Council reported having provided cash assistance to some 400 households in the latest distributions, which have now been put on hold due to precautionary health measures. The remaining one hundred households will be targeted once DRC resumes activities.