Situation Report

Access update: Humanitarian workers facing increased scrutiny in Libya

Reports received from humanitarian partners indicate an increase in the number of access constraints restricting the movement of humanitarian personnel and goods within the country. Some of the disruptions reported can be attributed to the closure of the air space between Tripoli and Benghazi from 3 to 22 March, which led to the re-routing of an UNHAS flight and the rescheduling of some humanitarian activities. Additional reports were also received regarding the denial of movement of international humanitarian personnel to certain parts of the country, which is impacting the quality of programmes across the country.

Bureaucratic and administrative impediments in the country have eased, with most INGOs reporting positive feedback regarding visa request submissions. As such, operational presence in the country is expected to increase in the upcoming weeks. On the other hand, financial constraints continue to burden operations. Despite constructive engagements with financial authorities, some banks continue to impose limits on cash withdrawals for humanitarian organizations to around 215 USD per day. On top of this, international transfers continue to be slow and often denied, putting pressure on the funds available to humanitarian partners on the ground.

Partners also reported increased scrutiny on the work of INGOs, NNGOs, and CSOs across the country. The concern that “out of the ordinary” requests from authorities have increased is shared across partners and is a trend that could persist. This included requests for filling of additional forms and detailed documentation on staff and any existing humanitarian activities, projects and/or partnerships. At the same time, an increase in reported cases of harassment of humanitarian staff when doing their work was also noted, which may be linked to a lack of acceptance of humanitarian operations or familiarity with humanitarian principles.