Libya faces a complex and protracted humanitarian crisis resulting from armed conflict, political and economic challenges, and the impact of COVID-19. Currently, 803,574 people, including 321,430 children, require humanitarian assistance. Children and families are experiencing a rapid deterioration in public services – particularly education and health services – higher food and fuel prices, loss of shelter and livelihoods, and significant protection challenges. Further destabilization of political dynamics might threaten the ceasefire agreement and the government's viability, risking resumption of the conflict.
UNICEF will work with government counterparts, civil society organizations and the private sector to realize its humanitarian, development and peacebuilding strategy, while maintaining capacity for a rapid response at the onset of emergencies.
UNICEF will enhance child-centered risk analysis as the foundation for greater risk informed programing in order to reduce impact of crises and increase coherence with long term programming. UNICEF will promote accountability to affected populations, localized response and strengthening national systems.
UNICEF and partners require US$55.4 million to undertake essential humanitarian intervention, including emergency preparedness.
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION AND NEEDS
Following almost two years of acute armed conflict, 2021 saw a welcome period of relative peace and political stability. Although acute needs reduced over the past year thanks to progress in the peace process and economic interventions from the Central Bank, household vulnerability remains high, particularly for displaced families, returnees, migrants and refugees.
As of June 2021, 223,000 displaced persons and over 643,000 returnees required humanitarian assistance, including access to safe drinking water, sanitation, basic health care, education and protection services. In areas that experienced armed conflict, families are still vulnerable to explosive hazards. Overall, some 803,000 people need health and nutrition assistance; 381,000 need safe water, sanitation and hygiene; 271,000 children need protection; and 171,000 children need access to schooling. The looming crisis of acute water scarcity is an increasing priority for UNICEF.
Libya remains both a destination and major transit center for migrants and refugees. As of June 2021, there were nearly 598,000 migrants and refugees in Libya, 10 per cent of which are children (2 per cent of whom are unaccompanied). Migrants and refugees are exceptionally vulnerable, given their migration status and significant protection risks, including gender based violence, and lack of access to social services.
Continued political instability due to the lack of agreement between the various stakeholders on a unified political solution has weakened state institutions and damaged the economy.
Children and families continue to suffer from critical deterioration in public services, higher food and fuel prices, loss of livelihoods, and serious protection challenges. The conflict has left homes and infrastructure across the country severely damaged, including schools and health facilities. Immunization services have been disrupted in some locations, and critical gaps in medical supplies and staffing have also been reported. Women, boys and girls are disproportionately affected by gaps in protection services and are at high risk of violence, exploitation, trafficking, gender-based violence and unlawful detention.
Morbidity and mortality rates related to COVID-19 have been steadily rising across Libya, with over 334,000 confirmed cases and nearly 4,600 deaths.10 There is an acute shortage of tests, laboratory capacities are limited, and water and electricity shortages have undermined basic hygiene practices.