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|2021 planning figures|
|60,000||IDPs and returnees will receive core relief items, shelter or cash assistance|
|15,000||people of concern will have access to primary health care|
|10,000||asylum-seekers will be registered on an individual basis|
|2,700||refugees will be submitted for resettlement and/or humanitarian evacuation, including those most at risk in detention|
|100%||of the most vulnerable urban refugees and asylum-seekers will receive cash and food assistance|
|2019 year-end results|
|2,029||refugees and asylum-seekers departed the country through evacuations to Italy, the Emergency Transit Centre (ETC) in Romania, and the Emergency Transit Mechanisms (ETM) in Niger and Rwanda; of this, 1,385 people of concern were evacuated through the Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF)|
|842||people departed Libya and arrived in their resettlement country in 2019; 813 were resettled from urban areas, and 29 were evacuated through the GDF|
|9,800||shelter kits were distributed to IDPs in eastern Libya, through partner NGOs|
|1,100||IDP and IDP returnee households received multipurpose cash assistance|
|77%||of refugees and asylum-seekers were provided with individual documentation|
|37%||of refugees and asylum-seekers were registered on an individual basis|
People of Concern
Operational environmentIn Libya, an estimated 900,000 people need humanitarian assistance, according to the 2020 Humanitarian Needs Overview. IDPs, refugees and asylum-seekers are among the most vulnerable, with limited or no access to basic commodities and essential services.
The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 added pressure to an already precarious situation, with movement restrictions and a severely impacted health system. Together with the pandemic, ongoing political instability and violent clashes have generated displacement and created a challenging operational environment for UNHCR. The protection environment in Libya is likely to remain restricted in 2021 for refugees and asylum-seekers.
As of December 2020, UNHCR estimates that some 2,000 individuals are detained in Libya, of whom 668 are people of concern to UNHCR. Given the conditions of refugees and migrants in detention centres, ensuring their release from arbitrary detention remains a priority. Providing assistance in urban areas and finding solutions for the most vulnerable individuals are also key priorities for 2021.
However, despite the volatile security situation in the country, Libya remains a country of destination and, according to IOM data, hosts nearly 600,000 foreign workers, who are needed to help the economy function. Most of these workers are economic migrants, but many are also individuals in need of international protection. Some 45,000 asylum-seekers and refugees with protection needs are registered with UNHCR. Although most foreign residents are working, few hold residence permits, and hence are working in the informal market economy.
In 2021, it is estimated that approximately 10,000 individuals will need registration and documentation. However, the Operation’s ongoing verification exercise will lead to the inactivation of cases, so it is expected that the overall number of refugees and asylum-seekers will remain at 45,000. In addition, there are 392,200 IDPs and more than 493,700 IDP returnees.
In the second half of 2020, while fighting in Tripoli ended, the overall security environment remained volatile. In addition, the socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and related humanitarian consequences are expected to continue in 2021.
As a lead agency for the protection and shelter/non-food item sectors, cash and market working group as well as co-lead of the Refugee and Migrant Platform (together with IOM and IRC), makes UNHCR a key stakeholder in the coordination structure of the overall humanitarian response in Libya. The most vulnerable IDPs and returnees will be provided with core relief items and/or shelter or cash assistance. Regarding cash assistance, UNHCR’s cash monitoring strategy will be further strengthened, targeting the most vulnerable.
Partnerships with local NGOs will be essential to reach affected populations of concern and, as such, UNHCR will invest in capacity-building for national partners to enhance their response.
Key prioritiesIn 2021, UNHCR will focus on:
- Advocating an end to the arbitrary detention of refugees and asylum-seekers in Libya and establishing alternatives to detention.
- Providing life-saving assistance at disembarkation points and detention centres, and continuing advocacy for a protection-sensitive migration management system.
- Pursuing durable solutions for the most vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers in urban communities and those newly released from detention. This will be implemented through registration, solid case management and referrals. UNHCR will continue with resettlement and humanitarian evacuations programmes, and pursue other solutions, such as return to a previous country of asylum, voluntary repatriation to country of origin or family reunification.
- Enhancing the response for refugees and asylum-seekers living in urban areas through the Community Day Centre in Tripoli and outreach teams, focusing on localities with significant concentrations of refugees. UNHCR will continue to carry out registration; and provide cash, food and medical assistance, and psychosocial support to people of concern.
- Improving refugee children’s access to education and child protection services, under the UNHCR-UNICEF Blueprint for Joint Action for Refugee Children.
- Supporting IDPs and returnees with protection, core relief items, cash assistance, shelter, rehabilitation and emergency shelter assistance. UNHCR will provide enhanced protection monitoring and referral mechanisms to IDPs, returnees and the host community, and invest in social cohesion through quick-impact projects, benefitting both displaced and host communities.