UNHCR continues to support internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees in Libya. Throughout the year, UNHCR and its partner LibAid distributed core-relief items, such as blankets, kitchen sets and hygiene kits, to more than 22,050 IDPs and returnees in over 10 cities, including Tripoli, Nafusa mountains, Benghazi, Derna and Misrata. In addition, UNHCR and its partners ACTED and DRC provided multipurpose cash assistance to over 5,000 individuals, who used the funds to cover basic needs, including food, hygiene items, and other necessities.
UNHCR and its partners implemented over 23 quick impact projects (QIPs) with the active participation of host communities and IDPs and in consultation with national authorities. QIPs are small, rapidly implemented projects intended to help create conditions for peaceful coexistence between those displaced and their hosting communities, and to strengthen their resilience. During the year, UNHCR supported many municipalities, hospitals and schools with sport kits, school desks, computers, medical equipment, water tanks, generators, solar street lights and waste management items.
In December 2018, the Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF) for vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers opened in Tripoli. The GDF is the first of its kind in the country and is intended to bring vulnerable refugees to a safe environment while solutions, including resettlement, family reunification, or evacuation to emergency facilities are identified. However, between July and October 2019, some 900 individuals spontaneously entered the GDF from Abu Salim and Tajoura detention centres. This caused overcrowding and overstretching of services at the facility. UNHCR offered those not previously prioritized for solutions an urban assistance package. Since October, more than 240 individuals have agreed to be transferred to the urban community where they received CRIs and cash assistance at the Community Day Centre (CDC) in Tripoli. The group are also able to benefit from medical assistance and protection assessment services at the CDC.
In 2019, 1,476 refugees who were previously hosted at the GDF were evacuated and resettled out of Libya. A total of 2,427 individuals departed through UNHCR’s evacuation and resettlement programmes out of Libya. This includes 878 individuals to Niger, 306 to Rwanda, 452 to Romania, 409 to Italy and 382 to other countries.
In 2019, the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) rescued/intercepted 9,035 refugees and migrants at sea (7,226 men, 623 women and 1,186 children) during 107 sea operations. Throughout the year, the majority of refugees and migrants were disembarked at Al Khums Port (40 per cent) while others disembarked at the Tripoli Naval Base (28 per cent) and Tripoli Commercial Port (14 per cent). By nationality, the largest groups disembarking in Libya were from Sudan, Mali and Côte d'Ivoire. More than 300 individuals lost their lives or were declared missing at sea while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea. With its partner International Medical Corps (IMC), UNHCR provided 5,552 CRIs and 1,254 medical consultations at disembarkation points.
UNHCR continued to register persons in need of international protection in Libya. 46,395 refugees and asylum-seekers are now registered with UNHCR. This year, UNHCR registered 12,419 individuals (an average of 34 individuals registered per day). The majority of those registered this year are Sudanese (30 per cent), followed by Syrian (29 per cent) and Eritrean (22 per cent) nationals. In 2019, over 3,562 individuals were registered in detention centres.
UNHCR supported refugees and asylum-seekers through the CDC in Tripoli. In 2019, a total of 10,271 individuals received medical assistance while some 20,000 were provided with CRIs.
UNHCR and partners conducted over 1,200 monitoring visits to Libyan detention centres and advocated for the release of POCs. As a result, in 2019, a total of 1,780 persons in need of international protection were released from detention following UNHCR’s intervention.
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