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About OCHA Libya

An estimated 823,000 people, including around 248,000 children, are in-need of humanitarian assistance in Libya as a result of persisting political instability, conflict and insecurity, the breakdown of the rule of law, a deteriorating public sector and a dysfunctional economy. People in-need of assistance include internally displaced persons, returnees, non-displaced conflict affected people and host communities, and refugees and migrants.

key humanitarian needs in Libya are linked to i) protection, ii) access to critical services such as healthcare and education, and safe drinking water and sanitation, and iii) access to basic household goods and commodities including food and essential non-food items. These humanitarian needs reflect life-threatening risks from exposure to violence, vulnerability, and the inability to cope with human rights violations and abuses, and the deprivation of essential services and commodities.

The protracted crisis in Libya continues to be of grave concern with both Libyans and non-Libyans paying a high price for seven years of instability and insecurity. Approximately half of the people in need of humanitarian assistance are Libyans. Refugees and migrants in or transiting through Libya make up the other half. The majority of people in need are found in urban areas in the western and eastern regions of the country. However, many of the most severe needs are in the southern mantikas of Murzuq, Sebha and Al Kufra, although severe needs are also found in Sirt, on the north-coast.

A young Sudanese IDP boy with a doll outside the shack where he lives with his mother and two siblings. The settlement hosts around 70 women and children. Credit: OCHA/G.Clarke

While the impacts of the crisis on people in all affected groups have been severe, needs vary according to the characteristics and contextual situation of different populations. Of note, refugees and migrants often face specific protection issues including grave human rights violations and abuses by state and non-state actors given their irregular status, lack of domestic support networks, impunity for crimes committed against foreign nationals, racism and xenophobia, and policies linked to the control of mixed migrations flows to Europe. People identified as vulnerable are individuals or families who have specific circumstances that undermine or limit their resilience to withstand the impacts of the crisis. Vulnerabilities are mainly related to gender, age, disabilities, ill-health, ationality, and legal status.

People who have been forced to adopt emergency level negative coping mechanisms due to socio-economic challenges are also considered vulnerable. The most vulnerable groups suffering as a result of the situation in Libya are those who are exposed to insecurity and conflict, people who are socio-economically disadvantaged, and/or foreign nationals who face discrimination and prejudice. Amongst these groups, women, children, youth, people with disabilities, and older persons have been severely impacted by the crisis, in particular female-headed households, women and girls victims of Gender-Based Violence (GBV), children survivors of violence, migrant and refugee women living in detention centres, unaccompanied children, and children out of school. Other specific groups also include people with disabilities and elderly persons without support networks and with no access to healthcare assistance, unemployed young men at risk of being recruited into armed groups, and young refugees and migrants from sub-Saharan African countries.

Also identified as particularly vulnerable are Tawergha communities, refugees and migrants transiting through Libya, refugees and migrants in detention centres, and displaced people living in informal settlements and/or being prevented to return home due to security threats and risks. Persons of undetermined legal status (PULS) who consider themselves Libyan but are not officially recognized as citizens and cannot access documentation are also considered vulnerable, as a marginalized group without access to the rights and benefits that come with citizenship.