Libya

Situation Report

Highlights

  • The Libya Humanitarian Response Plan asks for US$189 million to support 451,000 people – 36% of the 1.3 million people identified to be in need of humanitarian assistance in 2021.
  • While more than 37,000 people returned home from October to December 2020, over 278,000 people remain displaced.
  • Over 4,000 migrants and refugees were rescued/intercepted at sea; an 85 per cent increase compared to the same period last year.
  • Food insecurity for migrants in Libya is estimated to have doubled compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2020.
A displaced student in front of a primary health center met during a inter-agency monitoring mission to Ghadames (OCHA/Jennifer Bose Ratka)
A displaced student in front of a primary health center met during a inter-agency monitoring mission to Ghadames (OCHA/Jennifer Bose Ratka)

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Libya

Situation Report

Key Figures

1.3M
People in need
0.5M
People targeted
278k
People displaced in Libya
571k
Migrants and refugees in Libya
100k
People reached

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Libya

Situation Report

Funding

$129.8M
Required
$120M
Received
92%
Progress
FTS

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Contacts

Justin Brady

Head of Office

Jennifer Bose Ratka

Public Information Officer

Libya

Situation Report
Background

More displaced families return home while migrant/refugee sea crossings increase

Between October and December 2020, over 37,000 people returned to their homes (an increase from almost 567,800 returnees to almost 605,000 returnees). Correspondingly, the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) identified in Libya decreased from over 316,400 individuals to almost 278,200 IDPs by the end of December 2020.

The number of returns remains low due to lack of basic services and the presence of explosive hazards especially in southern parts of Tripoli. Data from the Libyan Mine Action Centre (LibMAC) indicates that during 2021, 15 people were killed and 5 injured by explosive hazards in Tripoli and Sirte. Explosive hazards continue to be discovered and removed for disposal. Overall, since May 2020, explosive remnants have resulted in at least 88 deaths and 136 injuries; of these, more than 67 percent were civilians and the others were clearance operators from the Interior and Defense ministries.

Accident numbers have dropped significantly in 2021. More likely this is due to heightened awareness among at-risk populations thanks to explosive ordnance risk education, in tandem with the marking of hazardous areas and some 'hot spot' area clearance. It is of utmost importance not to associate the temporary reduction of accidents with a long-term removal of the threat, or for that matter, to inadvertently give that impression.

The number of IDPs in Tripoli region continued to decrease and more than 18,000 individuals (3,600 families) previously displaced in urban locations in Tripoli returned to their places of origin and habitual residence. The same trend was observed in other locations in Libya hosting IDPs as the return of previously displaced populations to Tripoli and other areas in Western Libya continued. Since July 2020, more than 148,000 individuals returned to their communities of origin. However, despite these returns, the Tripoli region still hosts the largest displaced population in Libya with over 53,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) present in its various municipalities. The municipalities of Tajoura, Suq Aljuma, and Hai Alandalus together host 83 percent of the IDPs in the Tripoli region.

Overall, displacement in Libya has been primarily linked to security related issues, such as the hostilities in Western Libya in 2019-2020. Insecurity and its associated factors is identified as the primary driver that led IDPs to leave their community of origin at the time of displacement. Additionally, the deterioration of the local economic situation and lack of access to basic services are also identified as main drivers of displacement. February has seen a significant increase year-on-year of the number of people trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe with almost 3,500 migrants and refugees rescued/intercepted at sea. In only two months, about 4,000 migrants and refugees were intercepted at sea and returned to Libya compared to close to 2,200 in 2020 for the same reporting period; a 85 per cent increase. While the weather conditions have been particularly favorable for this time of year, which may partly explain such an increase, other factors are also at play, including changes in territorial control allowing traffickers and smugglers to operate and organize departures. Food insecurity also remains a concern for migrants. As a result of increased prices, restricted freedom of movement and limited income-generating opportunities, the DTM Migrant Report (Round 34) reports that the number of people facing food insecurity in Libya in 2020 is estimated to have more than doubled compared to pre-pandemic levels.

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Libya

Situation Report
Visual

2021 disembarkation trends (IOM)

2021 disembarkation trends (IOM)

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Situation Report
Analysis

Water and sanitation concerns amid rising COVID-19 cases

Humanitarian partners express concern over the deteriorating Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) situation in Libya. Over 4 million people, including 1.5 million children will face imminent water problems if immediate solutions are not found and implemented. The prolonged crisis has left the sector facing great challenges, leading to a significant decline in services. This is mainly attributed to the lack of required budgets for the purchase of equipment, operational materials and spare parts for regular maintenance. Suppliers are also struggling to open bank credits in hard currency to import equipment from outside the country. The situation has been exacerbated by frequent power cuts and lack of fuel needed for operations. All these conditions could lead to a complete system breakdown and stop water supply and sanitation services to vulnerable families and children.

Libya has also seen a steep increase in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. As of 1 March, there are 134,967 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 2,216 deaths, according to the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). Every mantika (province) has reported confirmed cases, with Tripoli, Misrata and Jabal al Gharbi municipalities reporting the largest number. The municipalities that have reported higher numbers of COVID-19 deaths include Al Kufra, Nalut, Zwara and Azzawya.

During February, testing of Coronavirus was limited to high-priority cases due to a lack of resources including testing operators and PCR devices. At the end of February, several health facilities also closed due to the non-availability of oxygen and/or no human resources. Moreover, in Tobruk the main health facility caring for COVID-19 patients reported being overburden with cases. The Medical Committee of Bani Walid Municipality warned of the suspension of work at the COVID-19 test laboratory in the city due to severe shortage in test operators.

The National Deployment Plan for COVID-19 vaccination in Libya has been finalized. The country is expecting about 96,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine by the end of March and an additional 196,800 doses in April and May. According to the plan, 426 health facilities or vaccination sites across 102 municipalities will support vaccination efforts. WHO and UNICEF provided extensive technical inputs for the development of the plan, which highlights main components of the COVID-19 vaccination in Libya. The Government of Libya is ready to cover the costs of administering COVID-19 vaccines to around 574,000 migrants and refugees in Libya but will not cover the costs of the vaccines themselves.

The UN continues to work closely with the health authorities to assess the suitability of available vaccines, monitor the evolution of the disease, give technical support and advice, and provide medicines and supplies to keep essential health care services running.

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Libya

Situation Report
Visual

Geographic case distribution as of March 2021 (OCHA)

Geographic case distribution as of March 2021 (OCHA)

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Libya

Situation Report
Feature
ASG-RC/HC Georgette Gagnon meets with teachers in an IDP camp in Abusliem, Tripoli (OCHA/Jennifer Bose Ratka)

Humanitarian Coordinator meets with displaced people in Tripoli

The newly-appointed Humanitarian Coordinator, Georgette Gagnon, met with displaced and host communities in Abusliem, Tripoli, to get an understanding of the situation and discuss how they have been affected by years of conflict and displacement. As part of her visit, she met with the mayor of Abusliem, Abdulrahman Daw, to hear about the municipality’s efforts in hosting 6,000 displaced people, mostly from Tawergha. They also discussed current challenges and the need to return voluntary, in safety and with dignity.

While the suspension of fighting has allowed many internally displaced people to start returning to their homes, many basic services were damaged or destroyed in the conflict. Furthermore, explosive hazard contamination and damage to houses in South Tripoli pose serious obstacles to their safe returns. Since July 2020, more than 148,000 individuals returned to their communities of origin while over 278,000 people remain displaced in Libya. This includes 40,000 Tawerghans who have been displaced since 2011.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced the appointment of Georgette Gagnon of Canada as his new Assistant Secretary-General, Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya in late December 2020. Ms. Gagnon brings to the position over 25 years of experience leading and implementing strategic initiatives on human rights, humanitarian action and development and coordinating multi-disciplinary teams in conflict and post-conflict countries.

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Libya

Situation Report
Feature
The IDP community in Awal, Libya, welcoming the Inter-Agency Monitoring Mission (OCHA/Jennifer Bose Ratka)

Inter-Agency Monitoring Mission to Ghadames and Derj

In March, an Inter-Agency Needs Assessment mission took place to Ghadames and Derj joined by UNDP, UNHCR, IOM, UNICEF and UN OCHA. The purpose of the visit was to understand the needs different population groups are facing in the north-western towns bordering Algeria and Tunis.

The mission met with the mayor of Ghadmes municipality, Mr. Qasim in Al-Mana, and the mayor of Derj municipality, Mr. Fadel Hussein, as well as council members, affected communities and displaced people. Some of the sites visited include schools, health facilities and rehabilitation sites.

The interagency mission is necessary to provide a better understanding of the situation on the ground and allow agencies to assess the needs of the various population groups, including women, children and displaced communities. The findings of the mission will inform future programmatic interventions, which will be tailored to benefit the targeted groups.

The visit took place just after the humanitarian community released the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) to provide urgently needed assistance and protection to the most vulnerable people affected by conflict, COVID-19 and worsening economic conditions in Libya. The plan appeals for US$189 million to allow the aid organizations to provide the humanitarian response in Libya needed to reach 451,000 people – 36 per cent of the 1.3 million people identified to be in need of humanitarian assistance in 2021.

In 2021, the Humanitarian Response Plan has been expanded to meet the challenges faced by the most vulnerable people, particularly in view of the impact of COVID-19 on people’s lives and service delivery. This includes internally displaced persons, non-displaced Libyans, returnees, and migrants and refugees across all 22 mantikas in the country. It is a prioritized plan of action, which lays out how 33 humanitarian partners aim to provide assistance in Libya and seeks to complement the efforts already being undertaken by Libyan authorities.

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Libya

Situation Report
Access

Lowest number of access constraints since pre-pandemic levels

The number of access constraints reported during February 2021 through the Access Monitoring and Reporting Framework (AMRF) was 220, which is the lowest number of constraints for a single month since the launch of the AMRF and a 33% decrease compared to January. Bureaucratic constraints impeding entry of humanitarian personnel and assets into the country continue to make up nearly half of all reported constraints. Processes for visas for INGO staff and for registration of INGOs in Libya have not been clearly communicated by the authorities, causing inconsistencies in the procedures. Similar difficulties continue with the importation of health items into Libya as there are no clear and consistent procedures set by the relevant authorities, which has led organizations to dispose of health items because they were held at airports and seaports beyond their expiry dates.[1]

To help address such issues, the co-chairs of the International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights Working Group (Berlin process) organized the seventh plenary of the Working Group on 9 March with the presence of representatives of member states. The discussion focused on “expanding humanitarian space in areas of risk of contention” and featured presentations from the co-chairs of the Humanitarian Access Working Group (HAWG); OCHA and the Libyan INGO Forum (LIF), as well as the East and West branches of the Commission for Civil Society (CCS). During the discussion, the HAWG co-chairs stressed the importance of the CCS’s support in the following areas:

1) Announcing clear visa procedures for INGOs that are conducive to humanitarian work and clearly identifying the roles and responsibilities of all involved.

2) Integrating active local actors (NNGOs) in the humanitarian coordination structure and identifying areas where capacities need to be strengthened.

3) Advocating for improved humanitarian access vis-à-vis other local and national actors, including armed groups.

4) Promoting accountability to affected populations by assessing needs on the ground, enabling stronger linkages and interaction between affected populations and humanitarian workers.

5) Supporting the full compliance of the humanitarian community with its humanitarian principles and joint operating principles.

The HAWG endorsed a set of Joint Operating Principles tailored to the Libyan context in February, which highlight the ground rules and red lines that need to be adhered to by members of the humanitarian community. Full compliance with the principles will help strengthen the collective approach of the humanitarian community and strengthen its efforts to mitigate the various humanitarian access challenges.

[1] Access Monitoring and Reporting Framework (AMRF) – February 2021

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Libya

Situation Report
Visual

Graph showing that bureaucratic impediments and COVID-19 restriction measures hampering humanitarian access decreased from March 2020 to February 2021 (OCHA)

Graph showing that bureaucratic impediments and COVID-19 restriction measures hampering humanitarian access decreased from March 2020 to February 2021 (OCHA)

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