UNHCR supported more than 90,900 internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees. Throughout the year, UNHCR and its partner LibAid distributed non-food items, such as blankets, kitchen sets and hygiene kits, to more than 68,240 IDPs and returnees in over 14 cities, including Tripoli, Benghazi, Sirt, Misrata, Sabha and Ubari. In addition, UNHCR and its partners ACTED and DRC provided multipurpose cash assistance to over 22,650 individuals, who used the funds to cover basic needs, including food, hygiene items, and other necessities.
UNHCR and its partners implemented over 110 quick impact projects (QIPs) with the active participation of host communities and IDPs and in consultation with national authorities. QIPs are small, rapidly implemented projects intended to help create conditions for peaceful coexistence between those displaced and their hosting communities, and to strengthen their resilience. During the year, UNHCR supported many municipalities, hospitals and schools with sport kits, school desks, computers, medical equipment, water tanks, generators, solar street lights and waste management items. QIPs have so far helped over 57,500 persons in Libya.
In December, the Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF) for vulnerable refugees and asylum-seekers opened in Tripoli. The GDF is the first of its kind in the country and is intended to bring vulnerable refugees to a safe environment while solutions, including resettlement, family reunification, or evacuation to emergency facilities are identified. The facility is managed by UNHCR, LibAid and the Ministry of Interior and represents one of a range of measures offering viable alternatives to detention in Libya. Since its opening, 220 refugees departed from the GDF to the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) in Niger and to Italy.
Since November 2017, when UNHCR started its evacuation programme, 2,793 refugees and asylum-seekers have been evacuated from Libya, including 2,202 to the ETM in Niger, 415 to Italy and 176 to Romania.
In 2018, the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) rescued/intercepted 14,949 refugees and migrants at sea (10,493 men, 2,177 women and 1,423 children) during 120 sea operations. Throughout the year, the majority of refugees and migrants were disembarked at the Tripoli Naval Base (62 per cent) while others disembarked at Al Khums port (19 per cent) and Azzawya (11 per cent). The top three nationalities were Sudanese (14 per cent) Nigerians (12 per cent) and Eritreans (10 per cent). Over 700 individuals lost their lives or were declared missing at sea while attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea. With its partner International Medical Corps (IMC), UNHCR provided 9,768 non-food item (NFI) sets and 1,604 medical consultations at disembarkation points.
UNHCR continued to register persons in need of international protection in Libya. 57,667 refugees and asylum-seekers are now registered with UNHCR. This year, UNHCR registered 12,834 individuals (an average of 35 individuals registered per day). The majority of those registered are Syrian (41 per cent), followed by Sudanese (18 per cent) and Eritrean (13 per cent) nationals. This includes over 2,790 individuals registered in detention centres.
UNHCR’s Community Day Centres in Tripoli provided more than 26,870 refugees and asylum-seekers with psychosocial support, medical assistance, cash and NFIs.
UNHCR and partners conducted over 1,374 monitoring visits to Libyan detention centres and advocated for the release of POCs. As a result, in 2018, 2,709 persons in need of international protection were released from detention following UNHCR’s intervention.