UNHCR Update Libya (22 March 2019)

Key figures:

170,490 Libyans currently internally displaced (IDPs)

445,845 returned IDPs (returns registered in 2016 - 2018)

57,285 registered refugees and asylumseekers in the State of Libya

336 overall persons arrived in Italy

284 monitoring visits to detention centres so far in 2019

528 asylum-seekers and refugees released from detention so far in 2019

3,303 vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers evacuated since November 2017

Funding USD 88.1 M required for 2019

Population movements

As of 20 March, 855 persons have been rescued/intercepted at sea by the Libyan Coast Guard in 2019. During the week, 24 refugees and migrants (17 men and 7 women) were rescued by local fishermen and disembarked in Sabratha (62 west of Tripoli). UNHCR is saddened by reports of a three-month old child perishing at sea during the same incident, while several persons are believed to still be missing. The number of disembarkations in 2019 drastically decreased when compared to data collected during the same period in 2018 (3,622 individuals) and 2017 (3,387 individuals). The majority of those disembarked so far in 2019 are from Sudan, Ivory Coast, Somalia, and Mali.

UNHCR Response

UNHCR continues to advocate for access to rights and services for internally displaced persons in Libya. On 21 March, UNHCR held focus group discussions in Tripoli with displaced persons living in the city. The discussion provided an opportunity to discuss their needs and concerns. In 2018 and 2019, UNHCR distributed core relief items (CRIs) to more than 83,167 IDPs and returnees, and cash to over 1,800 families.

UNHCR continues to call for an end to detention and the release of persons in need of international protection from Libyan detention centres. Since December 2018, 750 refugees have been released from detention centres and transferred to the Gathering and Departures Facility (GDF) in Tripoli. The GDF is currently hosting 113 persons. On 17 March, through its partner LibAid, UNHCR distributed over 100 hygiene kits to refugees and asylum-seekers hosted at the GDF. Arabic and English language courses for the eight children in the GDF have commenced, along with child protection activities.

UNHCR continues to register persons of concern (POCs) in Libyan detention centres, with over 4,200 persons recorded in the last six months.

During the reporting period, UNHCR registered over 60 people in Ain Zara detention centre in Tripoli. As part of its efforts to increase registration in the central region, UNHCR conducted a registration exercise in Souk Al-Khamis detention centre (50 km south of Tripoli) and Al-Kararim detention centre (23 km south of Misrata).

There are 57,285 persons currently registered with UNHCR in Libya, of whom 12,934 persons were registered in 2018 and 1,978 persons registered in 2019. The majority of those registered are Syrian (41%), followed by Sudanese (19%) and Eritrean (15%) nationals.

UNHCR and its partners International Medical Corps, CESVI and the International Rescue Committee continue to assist refugees and asylumseekers in Tripoli. At the Community Day Centres, UNHCR and partners support persons in need of international protection with primary healthcare, referrals to medical facilities, psychosocial support, cash-based interventions, and CRIs.

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees