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UNHCR Update Libya (22 May 2020)

Publication date

Population movement

As of 22 May, 3,078 refugees and migrants have been registered as rescued/intercepted at sea by the Libyan Coast Guard and disembarked in Libya.
So far this year, 809 persons of concern to UNHCR have disembarked in Libya. have disembarked in Libya. UNHCR and its partner, the International Rescue Committee (IRC), continue to provide medical assistance and core relief items (CRIs) at the disembarkation points.

UNHCR response

UNHCR has wrapped up its Ramadan distribution campaign. This week, UNHCR distributed food baskets, hygiene kits, jerry cans and water purification tablets to over 2,000 refugees and asylum-seekers living in the Tajoura and Sarraj districts of Tripoli, in Al-Zawiya (45 km west of Tripoli) and in Misrata (190 km east of Tripoli). Since April, over 5,000 individuals have received CRIs to help meet their basic needs.

UNHCR continues to support the internally displaced (IDPs) in Libya. On 18 May, UNHCR through its partner LibAid distributed its Ramadan package to more than 500 IDP families living in the Hay Al-Andalus district of Tripoli. On 14 May, LibAid also distributed UNHCR soap to 235 families (1,130 individuals) at the Ajdabya Tawergha settlement, 160 km south of Benghazi. All main eastern IDP areas have now been covered by the distribution of around 12,000 bars of soap to more than 6,000 individuals in total.
Through UNHCR’s partner, the Danish Refugee Council (DRC), 140 displaced Libyan families were provided with pre-paid “cash cards” allowing them to purchase provisions at more than 2,000 point of sales centres in Tripoli.
Distribution of hygiene kits to persons of concern in detention centres (DCs) is on-going. On 13 May, UNHCR’s partner IRC delivered hygiene kits to 42 people at the Abu Essa DC. On 14 May, 489 refugees and migrants at the Zintan DC received the same. In eastern Libya, on 17 May, UNHCR through its partner Première Urgence Internationale (PUI) distributed CRIs and hygiene kits to 75 detainees at the Ajdabya DC and again to 22 detainees at the Tolmeitha DC on 20 May. On 20/21 May, some 200 individuals recently released from the Al-Zawiya Al Nasr DC received the Ramadan package via partner CESVI at UNHCR’s Sarraj registration office in Tripoli.
The health sector remains a focus of UNHCR’s support. On 18 May, UNHCR handed over four prefabricated facilities to the Ministry of Health/East-Benghazi Health Services, as part of the COVID-19 response plan. They will be used as first examination/reception rooms for COVID-19 detection at health clinics to make an assessment before the patient fully enters the site.
Over the past few weeks, new efforts have been invested in creative solutions to improve communication and contacts with UNHCR’s network of refugee leaders, representatives, and focal points in Tripoli. Virtual meetings with community representatives, utilizing technology such as ZOOM, have continued to be organized on specific themes. In the reporting week, community representatives/leaders were briefed on the current situation in terms of resettlement, humanitarian evacuations and pathways to solutions, and how these have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.