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OCHA Libya l Humanitarian Bulletin (September 2020) [EN/AR]

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  • Close to ten per cent decrease in the number of people displaced in Libya.

  • COVID-19 cases double, with more than 20,000 confirmed cases and 320 deaths reported in September alone.

  • Fuel shortages and electricity outages continue to disrupt people’s lives and impact hospitals and schools across the country.

  • More than 268,000 people reached with some form of humanitarian assistance in 2020.

Families slowly returning to Tripoli

Following the suspension of hostilities in South Tripoli in June 2020, a slow return of displaced households has been recorded. According to the most recent Displacement Tracking Matrix report (covering July/August), there has been an eight per cent decrease in the number of people displaced in Libya, with a total of 392,000 people remaining displaced, down from 429,000. The new DTM report reverses for the first time the trend of increasing displacement that has been recorded since the beginning of 2019. The total number of people displaced across the country remains 30 per cent higher today compared to the same time in 2019.

From June to August 2020, a total of 3,694 families (18,471 individuals) returned to the Tripoli region with the municipalities of Abusliem and Ain Zara accounting for the majority. Only a small number of families who fled their homes following the escalations around Tarhuna in June returned, mostly those who fled to other locations in the West (e.g. Bani Waleed), with the majority who fled to the East may be unwilling to return due to perceived political/tribal affiliations and fear of reprisals.

However, a lack of basic services combined with the presence of booby traps, including IEDs, landmines and explosive remnants of war have limited the number of people that can safely return home. Between May and September 2020, there has been a total of 94 mine-related incidents, mostly in southern Tripoli, resulting in 66 deaths and 117 injurers, 116 of which were civilians.

While there has not been any significant re-escalation in fighting between the GNA and LNA and respective allies since June 2020, there has been an increase in inter-group clashes, particularly in Tripoli where armed groups resumed vying for control of territory amongst themselves once the external threat withdrew. Furthermore, the situation around Sirte remains tense. With continued military buildup by both parties and lack of a political settlement there remains an ever-present threat of re-escalation that would likely result in largescale displacement and an increase in humanitarian need. The approximately 125,000 people that live in and around Sirte, remain at significant risk.

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