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Libya: Humanitarian Access Snapshot - Migrants and Refugees (September 2021)

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Overview

The most recent reports by IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) in Libya indicate that there are 597,611 migrants including 3,860 in detention centres (DCs) and 42,210 registered refugees and asylum-seekers. Between January and September 2021, 23,583 migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean to Europe were intercepted and returned to Libya with many sent to one of the many DCs under the management of the Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM). In 2021, voluntary return, resettlement and evacuation flights have been repeatedly suspended by authorities. During the brief periods when the flights were operational, 1,311 migrants were voluntarily returned to their home countries while 212 refugees were resettled to Sweden, Norway and Canada.

Access by humanitarian partners to migrants and refugees continues to prove difficult, partially attributed to the lack of a clear process that is applicable to all DCs. Due to concerns of being detained, migrants and refugees often maintain a low profile, including by frequently changing their contact details. This prevents them from seeking out assistance, which along with the lack of operational presence by humanitarian partners, especially in the East and South, were the main factors that led to difficulties in identifying and reaching persons in need. Additionally, contributing factors that impede migrant and refugee access to aid are a lack of funds for transport to where aid might be available and language barriers. IOM has supported the Common Feedback Mechanism (CFM) with other language speakers in order to help migrants and refugees obtain information on humanitarian assistance programs, submit their feedback and get referrals to the humanitarian organizations that are best-suited to handle their issues.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.