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UNHCR Flash Update Libya (1 - 7 December 2018) [EN/AR]

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On 6 December, UNHCR evacuated 133 refugees and asylum-seekers from the newly opened Gathering and Departure Facility (GDF) in Tripoli to the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) in Niger. All of the evacuees were previously detained in Libyan detention centres and hosted in the GDF prior to their departure. 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 other emergency facilities are sought for them. The facility is managed by UNHCR, partner LibAid and the Libyan Ministry of Interior, and is one of a range of measures needed to offer viable alternatives to detention and to the dangerous journeys undertaken by refugees and migrants. Since November 2017, UNHCR evacuated 2,609 refugees and asylum-seekers including 2,202 to Niger, 312 to Italy and 95 to Romania.

Population Movements

As of 6 December, the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) rescued/intercepted 14,795 refugees and migrants at sea (10,346 men, 2,172 women and 1,421 children) during 115 sea operations. In November 2018, 546 refugees and migrants were disembarked in Libya. 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). This week, through its partner International Medical Corps (IMC), UNHCR provided medical and humanitarian assistance to ten refugees and migrants disembarked in Libya who were stranded on a boat for more than 10 days at sea. According to the survivors, 15 individuals died on the boat due to the lack of food and water.

UNHCR Response

UNHCR continues to register persons in need of international protection. As of 30 November, 57,664 refugees and asylum-seekers are registered with UNHCR in Libya. The majority of individuals registered are Syrian (23,750 individuals), Sudanese (10,777 individuals) and Eritrean (7,748 individuals) nationals. In November, UNHCR registered 812 refugees and asylum-seekers, mainly from Eritrea (546 individuals), Somalia (102 individuals) and Sudan (65 individuals). UNHCR continues to register all persons of concern in detention centres in and around Tripoli. Since the start of the campaign in October, UNHCR has registered 2,796 individuals in detention centres.

UNHCR continues to resettle vulnerable refugees out of Libya. Since September 2017, UNHCR submitted 994 cases for resettlement to third countries. A total of 114 individuals have departed on resettlement directly from Libya to Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden.
In November, UNHCR supported 8,600 internally displaced persons (IDP) with multipurpose cash assistance. UNHCR through its partners ACTED and DRC provided cash assistance to 770 IDP families in Tripoli, 700 families in Benghazi and 95 families in Sabha. The cash is used by IDP families to cover basic needs, including food, hygiene items, fuel, health and other costs.