Aid & Development

A million people in Libya are in need of humanitarian assistance

North Africa

The economic and humanitarian situation in Libya is deteriorating further amidst instability and perpetual conflict and destruction.

The Civil War in Libya, which began with popular uprisings against the former Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, has plunged the country into a political and security crisis. The country is divided amongst armed groups and political factions, including extremist groups such as ISIS. As a result, fighting is ongoing and the humanitarian situation is dire for many Libyans.

According to the United Nation’s Humanitarian Coordinator for Libya, Maria Do Valle Ribeiro, $313 million is urgently needed to provide lifesaving assistance to 940,000 people this year. As a result of this, Ribeiro launched the 2018 Libya Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) in order to raise funds to provide this assistance to the nearly 1 million Libyans suffering from life-threatening issues.

This initiative has been launched in coordination with the Libyan authorities. This coordinated appeal will help implement 71 different projects by 22 organisations, including national and international NGOs and UN agencies.

These projects aim to enhance the protection of civilians so as to ensure access to basic services for internally displaced people (IDPs), the most vulnerable non-displaced Libyans, migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. The funds will also help to strengthen families’ capacity to cope with the continued challenges caused by instability, conflict and economic depression.

Children have been especially affected by the catastrophic situation in Libya. According to a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report, in 2017, 439,000 children were in need of vital humanitarian assistance. Additionally, 54% of the 170,000 people displaced are children, with many living in dire conditions without support. Only 64% of these people have access to drinkable water sources.

Despite efforts by the international community to bring an end to the violence and unite a country, violence persists and a political solution to the conflict remains elusive. The establishment of the unity government in 2015 brought hopes of peace, but nearly three years on, Libya remains mired in crisis.

Despite the bleak picture, there are positive signs within communities. Across Libya, civil society groups have been taking the initiative to help the country’s most vulnerable in all aspects of life. As a result some cities are beginning to pick themselves up and recover from the conflict.