Sunday, 26/1/2020 | 9:24 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

UN calls for international support for refugees in Libya

TRIPOLI A UN official stressed need for additional support from the international community for refugees in Libya.

Kelly T. Clements, deputy high commissioner for UN Higher Commission of Refugees (UNHCR), made her remarks at the end of a two-day visit to refugees centers in Libya, where she also stressed needs for internally displaced Libyans, UNHCR said in a statement.

People in Libya are suffering immensely, said Clements, It's crucial that humanitarian support keeps pace with the rising needs. They must not be overlooked.

More than 268,000 Libyans are now internally displaced, including 120,000 displaced since the beginning of the armed conflict earlier in April between the UN-backed government and the rival east-based army in and around the capital Tripoli, the statement said.

Clements also visited the UN Refugee Agency's Gathering and Departure Facility in Libya, where she spoke to refugees from different African countries.

I was moved by the stories of resilience and courage I heard in Libya. Refugees in Libya suffer from abuse at the hands of smugglers, prolonged periods of detention, and over 50,000 struggle to sustain themselves living in the urban community, she said.

Solutions in safe third countries change the lives of refugees, it's a lifeline, but options are very limited. We need additional support from the international community to expedite evacuations, resettlement and provide additional legal pathways for refugees in Libya, Clements added.

Because of the insecurity and chaos, Libya is a preferred point of departure for illegal immigrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe, many of whom have drown on their way.

The UNHCR has stressed that Libya is not a safe port for disembarkation for immigrants due to the deteriorating security conditions.