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Libyan Newswire

UNICEF Libya Flash Update: Western Libya Emergency Response, 27 May- 02 June 2019

Humanitarian Situation Overview

As fighting in Tripoli and Western Libya enters into its ninth week, the conflict lines remain stagnant, but both parties to the conflict continue to use heavy weaponry and airstrikes, resulting in an average of 63 casualties per day. Over 100,000 civilians are reported to be in areas close to conflict lines and 116 civilian injuries and 41 civilian deaths have been reported since the beginning of the conflict on 04 April.

The ongoing fighting has displaced 90,500 people, of which half are reported to be children. By 02 June, as per the OCHA data base, 47 collective centres, of which 214 are schools, have been established by the Tripoli crisis committee to host Internally Displaced Persons, most of whom are coming from southern Tripoli. There are currently 4,000 IDPs in these collective shelters.5 Basic services continue to suffer during the conflict. Sporadic electricity cuts continue to be reported and by 31 May there was a 27 percent reduction in water supply in Tripoli. Low operational levels of the Ajdabia Reservoir have reduced the water supply line to Sirte and other surrounding areas. Excess waste during the summer season could create a favourable environment for vector breeding and could lead to an outbreak of waterborne diseases. Severe fuel shortages put additional stress on citizens in Tripoli and many other parts of the country.

The Ministry of Education has declared that all schools in Western Libya will re-open right after Ramadan to allow students to take their end of the year exams for the 2018-2019 school year.

The conflict in Western Libya has prevented some 122,088 children in nine municipalities in and around Tripoli from going to school since 04 April.

Increased risk of Gender Based Violence continues to manifest as a result of the ongoing conflict and conflict-affected children and their caregivers are in need of psychosocial support and recreational activities. 7 Children and their families are at increased risk to unexploded ordnances (UXO) and explosive devices since the conflict is close to residential areas in southern Tripoli, meaning they are in need of mine-risk education.

Migrants and refugees including children remain trapped in the detention centres close to the conflict lines and are in serious need of food, water, health care and protection services. According to reports, the situation in the detention centres which are accommodating migrants moved from the conflict affected centres are worsening, resulting in appalling living conditions. On 03 June UNHCR succeeded in evacuating over 100 detainees from the Zintan Detention centre to their Gathering and Departure Facility in Tripoli.

In line with Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action, UNICEF's response is dedicated to providing immediate life-saving protection, WASH, health, education and nutrition support to girls, boys and their families affected by the conflict. UNICEF also leads the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and education sectors and the child protection sub-sector.

By 02 June, with the aim of helping conflict affected children to develop a sense of normalcy and cope with trauma, UNICEF and partners reached 9,645 conflict-affected children with psychosocial support, recreational activities and awareness sessions in collective shelters and in urban areas. In addition, 1,187 children (711 girls and 476 boys) received specialized psychosocial support.

During the week of 27 May, UNICEF also distributed 20 recreational and early childhood development kits to the Ministry of Social Affairs to support their emergency response to the crisis in Tripoli.

Since 12 May, UNICEF in collaboration with a cooperating partner has been providing non-formal education (English or math classes and life-skill sessions) through mobile classes to an average of 20-30 conflict-affected children a day in three collective centres. By 02 June UNICEF has supported a total of 57 conflict affected children aged 5-17 years old with this non-formal education and is in discussion with international NGOs to further scale-up education in emergency support after the Eid Holiday during the summary holidays.

Simultaneously, and as part of UNICEF's efforts to enhance access to education support in the country, UNICEF is working with the Ministry of Education to support teacher initiatives. To date, UNICEF in partnership with the Ministry of Education, has reached 927 children (473 males and 490 females), of which 372 are displaced children with catch up classes for basic and secondary education and to support children to sit in for exams when schools re-open on 09 June.

By 02 June, 9,566 children were among 23,165 individuals (4,633 households) who were provided hygiene kits in collective centres and urban areas in Tripoli and Western Libya by UNICEF and partners. To ensure that WASH facilities in collective centres meet the minimum international standards, UNICEF and partners continue to assess and maintain the water and sanitation facilities in collective centres. Additionally, on 30 May UNICEF delivered eight water storage tanks �each with a storage capacity of 10,000 litres - to the General Company of Water and Waste Water to provide clean water to up to 3,200 people in Tripoli.

During the reporting period, UNICEF provided micronutrients for 60 children in a detention centre and also provided emergency food rations- High Energy Biscuits- to 2,548 people (1,254 males and 1,294 females). Since the beginning of the conflict in Tripoli, UNICEF has provided support to meet health and nutrition needs of 225,124 people through Primary Health Care facilities, collective and detention centres. Meanwhile, UNICEF in coordinating with the National Centre for Disease Control and other partners is planning for a rapid nutrition assessment in the collective centres.

Source: UN Children's Fund