OVERVIEW OF THE CRISIS
Based on the potential deterioration of the situation, the Humanitarian Country Team requested a revision of the HRP in order to ensure that the response framework is adapted to support the evolving needs of the highly vulnerable people affected by the Tripoli crisis, while enabling humanitarian partners to restock and prepare for an anticipated further deterioration.
CHANGES IN THE CONTEXT AFFECTING THE HUMANITARIAN NEEDS
Clashes between the Government of National Accord (GNA) and the Libyan National Army (LNA) erupted south of Tripoli on 4 April, immediately impacting the civilian population in and around Tripoli. While frontlines became unchanging, armed clashes continue and are particularly heavy in the southern districts of Tripoli, with use of heavy artillery and airstrikes on both sides. As of 18 June, WHO verified 166 civilian casualties, including 42 fatalities. Over 94,000 people have fled their homes as a result of the fighting, according to IOM displacement tracking (IOM/ DTM), while thousands more remain trapped in conflict-affected areas.
Use of heavy weaponry in populated areas is exposing civilians and humanitarian actors to extreme risks. Civilians in conflictaffected areas are at risk of being trapped in crossfire or subject to other forms of violence. In some areas, the population are unable to move because of the intensity of the fighting and the inability of emergency services to reach them. The incident rate involving first responders and medical personnel is alarming – seven medical staff are among the civilian deaths; nineteen ambulances have so far been struck by weaponry and four health facilities hit by direct and indiscriminate shelling.
Around 3,300 refugees and migrants in detention centers are at risk in conflict areas. There have been reports of guards abandoning detention centres leaving people locked inside.
Already among the most vulnerable populations in Libya, these refugees and migrants face the risk of becoming caught in crossfire, or left without life-sustaining supplies, including food and water. Refugees and migrants, including women and children, in urban settings are particularly vulnerable.
As clashes continue at the frontlines, severe damage of vital civilian infrastructure occurs. In addition, widespread human rights abuses and violations of International Humanitarian Law increase.
According to rapid assessments carried on from April to June; movement out of frontlines remains heavily restricted, there have been an increase in criminality and civilian unrest, Tripoli’s health care system is seriously disrupted and there were access constraints to the limited functional markets in the conflict-affected areas. The consequences of the conflict are felt nationwide. Increased levels of insecurity and instability, limited availability of basic commodities, increased prices, disruption of supply chain and reduced access to cash are the main factors deteriorating the already dire situation of vulnerable families; especially in the South region.
CHANGES IN THE STRATEGY
Individual sector strategies were already developed taking into consideration the conflict-driven displacement planning scenario. Sector plans were already in place to absorb the case load generated by the current Tripoli context, characterized by protection needs, including for highly vulnerable refugees and migrants; surging internal displacement.
Protection is central to the response. Assisting civilians trapped by hostilities is a key concern and multiple channels continue to be pursued to enable their safe passage out of frontline areas.
Engagement on access with all parties is crucial to provide an enabling environment for partners to deliver, as advocacy on adherence to parties’ obligations under International Humanitarian Law. Considerations of diversity regarding access to safety and services is mainstreamed in the response, including assessing the different needs of girls, boys, women and men; identifying persons with specific needs.
As anticipated in the 2019 HRP, the Rapid Response Mechanism (RRM) was activated, providing life-saving assistance in 72 hours to one-week period to the displaced families to collective shelters or urban settings. The Food Security Sector is providing food assistance to displaced people as well as emergency meals to affected refugees and migrants, in addition to the control and emergency response to the outbreak of zoonotic disease & plant pests that are impacting livelihood and health of local communities; the Protection Sector is providing immediate assistance, including dignity kits, recreational kits and solar lamps, as well as specialized and emergency mental health psychosocial support and recreational activities for conflictaffected women and children; the Shelter/NFI Sector is providing essential NFI kits, shelter kits and carrying out light emergency repairs in collective shelters while the WASH Sector is providing safe drinking water, WASH NFIs, emergency sanitation, rehabilitation of sanitation facilities in communal places, and hygiene awareness.
The Health Sector activated its Rapid Response Framework within 48 hours following the onset of the conflict and accordingly deployed Emergency Medical Teams with surgical capacity and essential medical supplies to front-line hospitals in and around Tripoli that receive heavy casualties. Since the conflict took longer than expected, the health sector activated a contingency plan that covers provision of emergency and trauma care, mass casualty management, disease surveillance and response in addition to regular supplementation of medical supplies to primary and secondary health facilities. The sector partners continue to support public health facilities with emergency stocks, health workers and on-job training. Furthermore, partners continue to provide primary healthcare services to migrants in detention centres and IDPs.