Tuesday, 11/8/2020 | 3:37 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

UNHCR Update Libya (19 April 2019)


Yesterday, UNHCR evacuated 163 vulnerable refugees to the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) in Niger. This evacuation was conducted under challenging security conditions, amidst ongoing clashes in the city, and with the plane departing only at midnight. All refugees and asylum-seekers traveling yesterday were previously detained in Libya. Since November 2017, UNHCR evacuated 3,466 individuals out of Libya, including 2,782 to Niger, 415 to Italy and 269 to the Emergency Transit Centre in Romania. Following yesterday's evacuation to Niger, the GDF is now hosting 448 persons. So far in 2019, 580 refugees have been evacuated through the GDF.

Since the onset of the clashes, UNHCR has transferred 539 vulnerable refugees from detention centres to the Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF). Yesterday, over the phone, UNHCR counselled refugees in Qaser Ben Gasheer detention centre and proposed that they are relocated to Zintan. Once again, refugees refused to move if not provided with another alternative. Qaser Ben Gasheer remains inaccessible for UNHCR.

Population movements

Over 25,000 individuals have been displaced (IDPs) due to the ongoing conflict in the city. Many are hosted by relatives and friends while others reached collective shelters in the Warshefana area (west of Tripoli) or cities along the coast. During the last two days, indiscriminate shelling continued throughout the capital. The intensity of shelling inside civilian neighborhoods was unprecedented since the start of clashes and represents the worst level of violence recorded against civilians in Libya since 2014.

Following a rapid needs assessment conducted by REACH this week, the main reported priorities for civilians are linked to safety and security, including the establishment of humanitarian corridors and access to healthcare and food.

UNHCR response

UNHCR continues to assist IDPs through its hotlines, with over 2,000 IDPs counselled since the onset of the crisis. In addition, UNHCR and LibAid are continuously assessing the needs of IDPs and have so far distributed core-relief items (CRIs) to 974 861 IDP (approximately 4,870 individuals) families in collective shelters and urban areas in the Warshefana and cities along the coast. Today, LibAid is planning a distribution of CRIs in Bani Waleed (170 km southwest of Tripoli) targeting 150 IDP families (some 750 individuals).

UNHCR's Community Day Centre (CDC2) remains operational and supporting urban refugees and asylum-seekers. More than 300 medical consultations were provided during the week. Hotlines for refugees have been strengthened to support persons located in areas of conflict and with referrals to the CDCs, other humanitarian agencies and first responders.

On 17 April, UNHCR, IOM and IRC launched the Refugee and Migrant Platform.

The platform will coordinate policies and advocacy messages for the migrant and refugee response in Libya.

UNHCR continues to seek durable solutions for refugees. Given security conditions in Tripoli, UNHCR calls for expedite resettlement measures and humanitarian evacuations out of Libya. Since September 2017, UNHCR submitted 1,377 individuals for resettlement to resettlement countries. A total of 383 individuals have departed on resettlement from Libya directly or through the Emergency Transit Centre in Romania to Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees