Since 2011, intense conflict and political fragmentation have significantly impacted Libya’s social fabric, basic services, and national infrastructure. The conflict-shattered economy and COVID-19 have worsened the coping capacities of the most vulnerable refugees and migrants.
Despite the fragile security and political situation, the humanitarian needs of people are decreasing. The number of internally displaced people continues to decline, but safe and dignified returns remain hampered by lack of means to earn an income, protection, and safety.
The EU remains the largest humanitarian donor in Libya.
What are the needs?
After years of conflict, the UN estimates almost 160,000 remain internally displaced. Mine contamination and the lack of perceived safety, jobs, and basic services deter people from returning home.
Almost 650,000 migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees from 41 countries are residing in Libya. Thousands of migrants are held in detention centres where they are exposed to inhumane conditions, lacking the most basic protection.
The broken economy, COVID-19, and the effects of the Russia’s war in Ukraine have compounded this situation and led to increased food prices.
Libya has seen some improvement since the ceasefire in 2020. However, the most vulnerable people are still struggling to meet their basic needs such as food, health care, education, protection, shelter and water.
Some 803,000 people require humanitarian aid, including access to health care. Medicines shortages are frequent, and lack of healthcare resources make it difficult to deal effectively with the pandemic.
Displaced Libyans, people without legal status, refugees and migrants struggle to obtain civil documentation, needed to access services and assistance.
At least 253 schools were damaged in the past decade. COVID-19 related school closures and inconsistent electricity and internet have been detrimental to children’s education.
How are we helping?
Since 2011, the EU has allocated €88.8 million in humanitarian aid to Libya, including €4 million in 2022.
In 2022, the humanitarian community is supporting 400,000 Libyans and non-Libyans in urgent need of assistance.
Our funding this year helps to address the most pressing needs in the country and supports the COVID-19 vaccination rollout. EU humanitarian partners ensure that people in need can access health care, education, protection and cash assistance.
Multipurpose cash assistance is given to extremely vulnerable people who are excluded from social protection schemes and resort to negative coping strategies such as skipping meals or keeping their children out of school.
Protection interventions focus on the impact of the conflict on civilians. EU partners support survivors of sexual and gender-based violence and of other forms of violence, abuse and exploitation. The EU also funds child protection and education for children who are out of school or at risk of dropping out.
EU humanitarian aid has helped to restore education in the east of the country, allowing children to learn in a safe environment. In 2022, the EU continues to support child protection and education services across Libya.
Legal assistance is helping beneficiaries to receive legal documentation such as birth registration and marriage certificates.
Health interventions have included (i) emergency and primary healthcare, (ii) physical rehabilitation and orthopaedic services, (iii) mental health and psychosocial support, (iv) reproductive health services, and (v) care for survivors of gender-based violence.
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, EU humanitarian partners stepped up awareness raising campaigns and hygiene promotion among vulnerable communities. They also adapted aid programmes to limit the risk of infection, switching to alternative approaches for psychosocial support and education.
The EU also supports the promotion of international humanitarian law and humanitarian coordination.
EU-funded humanitarian aid is indiscriminately given to vulnerable people, based on needs and regardless of their nationality or status. In sudden onset disasters or displacements, we support the distribution of mattresses, blankets and hygiene kits.
Libya also receives development and early-recovery assistance through other EU funding sources such as the EU Trust Fund for Africa. In a nexus approach, the EU’s humanitarian aid and development departments work together to ensure a link between short-term emergency assistance and longer-term development aid, notably in the health sector.
In addition, the European Commission is providing €100 million in humanitarian assistance to support the roll-out of vaccination campaigns in countries in Africa with critical humanitarian needs and fragile health systems.
At least €5 million of this funding will be supporting vaccination of the most vulnerable in northern Africa, including €3.5 million in Libya.
Last updated: 06/09/2022
Picture: © PUI, 2020
Facts & figures
Almost 650,000 migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees from 41 countries
Almost 160,000 internally displaced Libyans
(IOM DTM round 41)
Over 803,000 people in need in 2022:
- 132,000 internally displaced people
- 232,000 migrants
- 43,000 refugees
- 281,000 people affected by war, COVID-19 & lack of services
- 115,000 returnees
(HNO 2022 / OCHA)
EU humanitarian funding:
€4 million in 2022
€88.8 million since 2011