DRC has been in Libya since 2011 assisting migrants, IDPs and returnees. DRC is an active member of all relevant coordination mechanisms to ensure close interaction with UN sectoral coordination. As such, DRC is an active member and co-coordinator of the Protection Working Group (PWG), and a founding member of the Cash and Markets Working Group (CMWG). DRC integrates project activities with other UN-led initiatives, including health, protection and basic needs, and the core priorities of the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Libya.

The Libyan civil war in 2011 divided the country between two competing legislatures, split state institutions and fragmented the nation. The conflict and deepening socioeconomic challenges contribute to a lack of central control, absence of governance and rule of law, economic decline vis-à-vis high cost of living, and the inaccessibility of many areas of the country including basic services for Libyans, refugees and other migrants.

DRC Libya Interventions

Libya experienced consistent pockets of violence as well as areas of increasing stability that saw the number of IDPs decrease from 294,436 (DTM Round 8: Key Figures) reported in January to 180,937 reported in December 2017; and an increase in the number of returnees from 196,852 reported in January to 334,662 reported in December 2017. With prolonged displacements, the financial capacities of Libyans continued to diminish worsened by inflation, the influence of the black market on currency exchange rates and a liquidity crisis in the Libyan banking system. Without access to hard currency and low or no income available to meet their basic needs, vulnerable households suffered the most from the effects of the protracted crisis.

In 2017, DRC provided assistance to 1,481 individuals, referred 722 people to partner agencies or health facilities for assistance, distributed 11,097 NFI kits to men, women and children and provided free phone call services to 2,089 men and women in detention centres for family reunifications.

DRC distributes non-food items (NFIs) which include hygiene kits to migrants in detention centres and urban communities. In 2017, DRC distributed 11,097 NFI kits to men, women and children. DRC provides targeted, multi-purpose and unconditional assistance to the most vulnerable population in Libya to meet their basic needs, including access to dignified safe transitional shelters, rehabilitation of their homes, and medical care. In 2017, DRC provided unconditional assistance to 1,481 individuals.

DRC conducts protection monitoring and service referrals for migrants and IDPs to medical service providers; to IOM for voluntary humanitarian return (VHR); to UNHCR for legal assistance through registration and issuing of documentation (primarily asylum seekers and refugees); among other services (disability services, family linkages, and food assistance). In 2017, DRC referred 722 people to partner agencies or health facilities for assistance. DRC also provides free telephone call services to detainees in detention centres for family reunification. This service allows detainees to inform their family members of their status and to develop strategies for their release. DRC supported 2,811 people under its protection programme in Libya.

DRC Strategic Focus

Central to DRC’s strategy and response in Libya in 2018 and beyond, DRC is committed to the generation and dissemination of knowledge and evidence to inform contextually appropriate policy and programming. DRC will also continue to assist both Libyans and non-Libyans through protection monitoring, unconditional assistance, NFI distribution and phone call services.

DRC will seek when appropriate, the provision of assistance through an integrated humanitarian protection programme with a geographical focus in the north west of Libya in the short to medium term. Within the integrated programme, the response to humanitarian needs of those within mixed migration flows in Libya will be consolidated and further developed within existing Consortia, including a multiyear, multi-country, route-based migration response managed and coordinated from Tunis.

During 2017 and 2018, DRC has received financial support from Swiss Agency for Dev. & Co-op. (SDC), DFID, EU Hum. Aid (DG ECHO) and EU Trust Fund.