Despite calls for a truce, conﬂict continues throughout Libya, impacting civilians and civilian infrastructure. Between 1 January 2020 and 31 March 2020, the UN Support Mission to Libya (UNSMIL) has documented at least 131 civilian casualties (64 deaths and 67 injuries). This ﬁgure represents an overall increase in civilian casualties of 45 per cent compared to the previous three months.
Heavy shelling and ﬁghting has caused further displacement, destroyed people’s homes and damaged critical civilian infrastructure. In the last month, this includes new displacements from Abusliem and surrounding areas, as well as from neighbourhoods surrounding Tarhuna. See our displacement article later in this report.
As of 21 April 2020, there has been 11 conﬂict-related incidents recorded this year on ﬁeld hospitals, health care workers, ambulances and medical supplies, killing ﬁve people, injuring 17 others and affecting ﬁve health facilities. On 6 April 2020, as a result of heavy shelling in Tripoli, the Al Khadra General Hospital was hit, injuring at least one health worker and damaging the fully functioning 400-bed medical facility. The hospital was one of the potential COVID-19 assigned health facilities. Heavy clashes also saw closures of four hospitals in Sabratha and Surman that were providing an average of 18,000 medical consultations per week.
There have also been two attacks on the Man-Made River Project this year, that provides around 60 per cent of the country’s fresh water. On 6 April, a water value near Shwerif was shut down by an armed group. As a result, more than 2 million people, including 600,000 children, in the Greater Tripoli area (Tripoli, Tahouna, Bani Walid and Gharyan) were without water for more than a week. These water cuts coincided with power outages that affected many parts of western Libya. Water systemsin Libya have alreadybeen badly damaged as a result of the ongoing conﬂict. These attacks impact on the country’s ability to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Tripoli, internally displaced families, refugees and migrants who remain close to the front lines, along with host communities providing them with shelter, remain at signiﬁcant risk. In conﬂict-affected areas, people face increasing challenges in gaining access to basic essential goods and public services and being able to make a living. The situation for many people caught in conﬂict areas, as well as across the country, has been exacerbated by the impact of COVID-19 on people’s livelihoods and their ability to meet their basic needs and access to health and other assistance. This is covered in more detail our COVID-19 article below.
While the situation has become more complex with escalating conﬂict and COVID-19 prevention measures, the humanitarian community is committed to staying and delivering humanitarian assistance to address the most severe needs. UN agencies, international and national NGOs continue to work on the front lines, in diﬃcult operating conditions, having reached more than 138,000 people in 2020 with some form of humanitarian assistance. This includes provision of unconditional food assistance, including to 2,300 newly displaced people reached through the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM). Health care services were also provided through deploying mobile medical teams, health kits as well as providing training for medical staff. The Education Sector through its partners reached more than 18,000 school-aged children with school feeding. Children were also reached by other services including psychological and recreational activities.