Tuesday, 17/9/2019 | 8:36 UTC+0
Libyan Newswire

UNICEF Libya Flash Update: Western Libya Response Update, 03 June – 16 June 2019

Humanitarian Situation Overview

As fighting in Western Libya continues, children and women continue to be caught in the crossfire. Between 11-16 June nine civilians were wounded as a result of collateral damage from nearby airstrikes or shelling. Since the beginning of the conflict, 176 civilian casualties, including 42 civilian deaths have been verified.

Despite the international community's incessant calls for a cessation of hostilities, belligerents claim the conditions for a ceasefire have not been met, as the fighting continued in and around the capital. The ongoing fighting has so far displaced 93,925 people. By 16 June, 47 collective centres, of which 213 are schools, have been established by the Tripoli crisis committee to host displaced families, most of whom are coming from southern Tripoli.

Basic services continue to suffer during the conflict. Extended electrical power cuts continue to be reported, affecting provision of water and mobile networks. The families are not able to store food and maintain comfortable indoor climate as summer is approaching and high temperatures are recorded. The garbage collection in the capital is seriously hampered; 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.

On Sunday 09 June, following the month of Ramadan, the Ministry of Education opened all schools in Tripoli for children. Yet many of them remain closed in the southern part of Tripoli and those hosting the displaced families. In nine municipalities in and around Tripoli, 122,088 children were not able to go to school since the beginning of the crisis in April. The schools are planned to remain open until students take their end of the year exams by the end of June.

Increased risks of Gender Based Violence continue to appear as a result of the ongoing conflict.

Conflict-affected children and their caregivers need psychosocial support and recreational activities. Children and their families are at increased risk of exposure to unexploded ordnances (UXO) and explosive devices since the conflict is close to residential areas in the southern area of Tripoli. This highlights the 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.

In line with the Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action, UNICEF's response is dedicated to providing immediate lifesaving 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 16 June, with the aim of helping conflict affected children to develop a sense of normalcy and cope with trauma, UNICEF and partners had reached 22,862 conflict-affected children (10,981 girls and 11,881 boys) with child protection services in Tripoli and other areas affected by displacement including Garaboli and Ziwara. Some 19,609 conflict-affected children (9,056 girls and 10,553 boys) received psychosocial support and recreational activities while 1,196 children (718 girls and 478 boys) and many of their parents received specialized psychosocial support to cope with the conflict.

UNICEF, in collaboration with implementing partners is continuing to provide non-formal education (English and math classes and life skill sessions) through mobile classes to displaced children residing in three collective centres. Between 03-16 June 170 children (75 boys and 95 girls) aged 5-17 years old benefitted from these non-formal education classes, bringing the total number of students who have benefitted from catch up classes to 1,392 (662 boys, 730 girls). UNICEF through a cooperating partner has also completed assessments of the education needs in seven collective shelters which will be used to support education interventions in these collective centres.

To scale up the education response, UNICEF is also preparing to support the Ministry of Education (MoE) in providing students in grades from six to twelve with supplementary materials aimed at supporting them in preparing for their end of year exams. UNICEF is also working with the MoE to explore the possibility of supporting summer classes between July-September 2019 for the 122,088 children in and around Tripoli whose school year was impacted by the offensive in Western Libya. These summer classes will include catch-up classes for main subjects and recreational and psychosocial support activities.

Since the beginning of the crisis, 9,566 children were among 23,165 individuals (4,633 households) who were provided with hygiene kits in collective centres and urban areas in Tripoli and Western Libya by UNICEF and partners. 370 children were also among the 795 individuals (159 families) that have benefitted from UNICEF and its partners' work in rehabilitating the WASH facilities in 11 collective centres, ensuring that they meet the minimum international standards for water and sanitation. In addition, on 11 June UNICEF, through implementing partners, improved the water supply in a Detention Centre for 425 people (192 males, 196 females, and 37 children) by rehabilitating the water pipelines and installing two water pumps.

UNICEF has worked to meet health and nutrition needs of 225,124 people through Primary Health Care facilities, collective and detention centres since the beginning of the crisis. Specifically, to support the nutrition of all people affected by the crisis, UNICEF has provided micronutrient supplements to 3,734 children aged 6 to 59 months and pregnant and lactating women in detention centres and collective shelters. UNICEF has also provided High Energy Biscuits to 2,548 people (1,254 men and 1,294 women) in detention centres to ensure the emergency food needs of detained persons are met.

Source: UN Children's Fund

-->