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UNHCR Update Libya (24 May 2022) [EN/AR]

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On 23 May, UNHCR helped with the transfer of 99 asylum seekers, including 46 children, from Ain Zara detention centre. UNHCR and partners provided medical, food and cash assistance while specific services were provided to those identified with other urgent needs, including shelter arrangements. The individuals will be assisted with core relief items in the coming days. UNHCR continues to work closely with the Libyan authorities to secure the orderly release of other refugees and asylum seekers held in detention. As of 22 May, it is estimated that there are 2,772 persons held in detention centres across Libya, of whom 755 individuals are persons of concern to UNHCR.

UNHCR continues exploring durable solutions for some of the most vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees in Libya. On 20 May, a 12-year-old unaccompanied child, who has lost his parents, departed from Libya to Europe on a humanitarian visa to live under the care of a foster family. UNHCR’s Global Compact for Refugees encourages countries to offer pathways to complement resettlement, providing a lawful stay in a third country where their international protection needs are met.

Population Movements

So far in 2022, 6,325 asylum seekers, refugees and migrants have been reported as rescued or intercepted by the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG), General Administration of Coastal Security (GACS), Stabilization Support Apparatus (SSA) and the Libyan Navy in 73 operations. The last operation was conducted on 23 May by LCG at Tripoli Naval Base with 58 survivors, including nine children. UNHCR and partner International Rescue Committee (IRC) were present at the disembarkation point and provided medical assistance and blankets to all survivors. So far in 2022, 453 persons have been reported missing and 109 bodies have been recovered.

UNHCR Response

UNHCR, with partners, continues to provide help and services to some the most vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees. During the reporting period, partner IRC distributed basic relief items to 247 asylum seekers and refugees, including 150 women, at locations in Tripoli including the Community Day Centre and the Women and Girls’ Safe Space (WGSS). 665 individuals were provided with mattresses, hygiene kits, slippers, and tracksuits in Triq Al Matar detention centre. Partner CESVI provided emergency cash assistance to 72 households (161 individuals), and 86 individuals were assisted with WFP food packages. UNHCR outreach team carried out two field visits to follow up on the individuals, who were released last week.

On 23 May, with partner LibAid, UNHCR staff began distributing basic relief items and hygiene kits for Tawerghan families evicted from their settlements in Fallah 1 and 2, in Tripoli earlier this month. More than 2,000 people are being targeted for help during the distributions.
UNHCR provides health services through its partner IRC, in public primary healthcare centres in different municipalities in the capital,
Tripoli. IRC provided 107 general, reproductive, and mental health consultations, and referred 16 individuals to public hospitals and private clinics. 58 medical consultations were provided in Triq Al Sikka DC and 60 medical consultations were provided in Ain Zara DC. The 24/7 medical emergency hotline team continues to support persons of concern. Last week, 34 individuals were assisted, and 13 were referred to secondary health facilities.

As part of the organization-wide effort to analyze the impact and/or risks emanating from the Ukraine-Russia crisis, UNHCR Libya is holding consultations internally and within the UN Country Team to proactively identify risks and mitigating measures. It is recognized that the socioeconomic ramifications from the crisis will deepen vulnerabilities and increase protection risks and assistance needs, and possibly result in new and/or secondary forced displacement and irregular movement to and through Libya, as many will struggle to cope with rising food and other prices. A detailed analysis is expected to be released in the near future.