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|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|
|2020 planning figures|
|90%||of IDPs will have their needs for basic and domestic items met|
|80%||of refugees and asylum-seekers will have access to primary health care|
|100,000||IDPs and returnees will be assisted with core-relief items, cash-based interventions and shelter|
|10,000||asylum-seekers will be registered on an individual basis|
|3,000||vulnerable refugee cases will be identified for resettlement|
People of Concern
Operational environmentThe overall political and security situation in Libya remained highly volatile in 2018, with ongoing instability affecting UNHCR’s operations and access. Living conditions continued to deteriorate, while safety and security incidents led to ongoing displacement. Targeted attacks on civilians were reported throughout the year, while instances of arbitrary detention and torture continued to rise. UNHCR’s access to people of concern was extremely limited, impairing its capacity to provide protection and essential services, especially for women, girls, and people with specific needs.
Libya was the main transit and departure point for mixed movements from North Africa towards Europe, where smuggling and trafficking networks operated amidst political and security turmoil. The Libyan coast guard continued to intercept and/or disembark individuals at sea, transferring them to detention centres where numerous human rights violations were reported. UNHCR provided support at disembarkation points, as well as monitoring visits to Libyan detention centres. Despite advocating for the release of more than 2,700 people in need of international protection, access to detainees remained limited during the year.
The volatile security context — coupled with difficulties in obtaining visas — led to a limited UNHCR staff presence, forcing many to work remotely. However, despite this challenging environment, the Operation was able to support 68,240 internally displaced persons (IDPs) with non-food items in over 14 cities. UNHCR and its partners also completed 115 quick impact projects (QIPs) with the active participation of host communities and IDPs, and in consultation with local authorities, to foster peaceful coexistence and resilience.
Population trendsAn estimated 1.1 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance in Libya, including some 170,500 IDPs; 43,700 IDP returnees; and 56,000 refugees and asylum-seekers – 10% of whom are believed to have been detained. The majority of refugees and asylum-seekers lived in an urban context.
Despite the security situation in Libya, 2018 saw a decrease in the overall number of IDPs from the year prior due to many Libyans returning to their areas of origin.
- The gathering and departure facility (GDF), managed by UNHCR together with the Government and an NGO partner, opened in December 2018 as an alternative to detention. Some 223 POCs were hosted in the facility, out of whom 221 were evacuated from Libya in December 2018.
- UNHCR provided three months of multipurpose cash assistance to 1,700 IDP and IDP returnees across Libya.
- Despite complex protection circumstances, refugees and asylum-seekers continued to have access to protection through the provision of essential services and registration. The Office issued protection letters and provided access to refugee status determination (RSD) and resettlement (RST) despite the security conditions.
- In close coordination with the operation in Niger, UNHCR managed to evacuate hundreds of people from detention to the emergency transit mechanism (ETM) in Niger to Italy, where their cases were processed for appropriate durable solutions, including resettlement.
- Protection activities were affected following a deterioration of the security situation, most notably around Tripoli where clashes forced UNHCR to temporarily close its registration and RSD/RST premises.
- The IDP population was also impacted by the fluctuating security situation, ranging from physical threats to inaccessibility of public services.
- Planned capacity-building activities were postponed indefinitely, again due to the volatile security climate.
Civilians in Libya continue to suffer as a result of conflict, insecurity, political instability and a collapsing economy. The direct humanitarian impact has been that hundreds of thousands of people across the country are now suffering, living in unsafe conditions, with little or no access to life-saving health care, essential medicines, food, safe drinking water, shelter and education. A total of 1.3 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Close to 43,000 refugees and asylum-seekers are registered with UNHCR, being part of the estimated 100,000 people in need of international protection. In addition, there are some 226,000 internally displaced people (IDPs) and 267,000 IDP returnees.
UNHCR has scaled up its response to meet the increasing humanitarian needs of refugees, asylum-seekers, IDPs, returnees and host communities in a comprehensive manner.
As a vital part of its response, UNHCR will continue to coordinate with Libyan authorities, UN sister agencies, non-governmental organizations and Libyan civil society organizations and will continue to lead the Protection Sector, the Shelter/NFI Sector and Cash & Market Working Group and co-lead, together with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the Mixed Migration Working Group (MMWG).
In 2018, UNHCR will focus on:
- Identifying and documenting people in need of international protection, providing life-saving assistance and seek solutions for the most vulnerable, whether at disembarkation points, detention facilities or in urban areas, in line with UNHCR’s comprehensive regional strategy to mitigate protection risks along main migratory routes;
- Providing assistance to IDPs, returnees and host communities, through community-level quick impact projects and the delivery of cash and in-kind assistance;
- Engaging with Libyan authorities to promote the progressive development of a national protection framework; advocate for alternatives to detention; and support measures to prevent sexual and gender-based violence;
- Strengthening communication with communities through expanded partnerships and mass information campaigns to highlight the risks along the Central Mediterranean route.