As of 27 March, 879 persons have been rescued/intercepted at sea by the Libyan Coast Guard in 10 operations in 2019. On 26 March, 117 refugees and migrants disembarked at the Tripoli Naval Base. UNHCR and its partner International Medical Corps (IMC) were present to provide life-saving humanitarian and medical assistance to all rescued persons before they were transferred to a detention centre by the authorities. In 2019, disembarkations drastically decreased when compared to data collected during the same period in 2018 (3,622 individuals) and 2017 (3,387 individuals).
On 22 March, UNHCR staff completed a mission to Benghazi where they visited Ganfuda detention centre. The facility currently hosts 270 persons, of whom more than 50 are of concern to UNHCR. UNHCR also visited seven settlements for displaced persons (IDPs) and five neighbourhoods where the team met with returnee families. Access to safe and dignified shelter was highlighted as a main requirement for IDPs and returnees in Benghazi, with many at risk of eviction due to their inability to pay rent. With many people living in demolished houses and neighbourhoods, there is still a high risk of damage and injury from explosive remnants of war.
UNHCR is supporting IDPs, returnees, refugees, and host communities by implementing quick impact projects (QIPs) throughout Libya. QIPs are small, rapidly implemented projects intended to promote conditions of peaceful coexistence between those displaced and their hosting communities. During the reporting period, UNHCR conducted joint assessment visits with partners, local authorities, and community leaders to several municipalities in the western region. The visits focused on health and education interventions. In consultation with the local community, UNHCR is planning to rehabilitate a public clinic in Al-Zawiya (47 km west of Tripoli) that currently provides services to persons of concern, as well as the host community. UNHCR also plans to support educational institutions through the provision of desks to schools in Al-Awiniya (160 km south of Tripoli) and AlMaya (30 km west of Tripoli).
UNHCR continues to support refugees and asylum-seekers living in urban communities. During the week, 244 primary healthcare consultations were provided at UNHCR’s Community Day Centres through partner IMC. UNHCR and CESVI also provided cash assistance to 123 individuals (49 families). With a view to finding solutions for the most vulnerable refugees living in the urban community, UNHCR continues to submit cases for resettlement. Since September 2017, UNHCR has submitted 1,293 cases to seven resettlement countries.
UNHCR continues to call for an end to arbitrary detention in Libya. Approximately 6,000 refugees and migrants are currently held in Libyan detention centres, of whom 4,490 are of concern to UNHCR. During the week, UNHCR and its partner IMC distributed clothing, sleeping mats, blankets, and infant kits to refugees and migrants in Ain Zara, Zliten, and Kararim detention centres.