UNHCR: Over 179.400 people are internally displaced in Libya

The UNHCR also documented the return of 250.000 Libyan IDPs to their cities since the start of 2017. [Photo: the United Nations]
In coordination with local authorities and members of the Mixed Migration Working Group, UNHCR and its partners are following-up on the situation of the refugees and migrants who were found in an abandoned truck near the outskirts of Zwara (115 km west of Tripoli).

On 16 July, 98 refugees and migrants were found locked inside a sealed cargo container together with some canisters of gasoline. When identified by the authorities, 11 of the individuals had passed away (six of them were children), while others, in a critical condition, were brought to hospitals in the area. Reportedly, the truck was underway to an embarkation site west of Zwara, from where the individuals would have attempted to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

In order to avoid a checkpoint, the driver allegedly abandoned the truck, leaving the trapped migrants and refugees in the sealed container. UNHCR remains concerned that men, women and children continue to risk their lives by taking dangerous routes towards Europe, many of them perishing at sea in proportionally larger numbers. Already in 2018, the bleak milestone of dead and missing at sea has reached over 1,000 for the fifth year in a row. In June alone, one person died for every seven who crossed the Central Mediterranean.

So far in 2018, the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG) rescued/intercepted more than 11,800 refugees and migrants at sea during some 80 operations. Since 1 June, the number of operations increased when compared to the previous months, with over 4,840 refugees and migrants disembarked in Libya (3,453 individuals disembarked in June and 1,392 individuals disembarked so far in July). On 16 July, 158 refugees and migrants (including 34 women and nine children) were disembarked in Al Khoms.

Through its partner the International Medical Corps (IMC), UNHCR provided medical assistance and non-food items at the disembarkation point. On 12 July, UNHCR visited displaced communities (IDPs) in Zintan (180 km southeast of Tripoli), located in the Nafusa Mountains. UNHCR met with local authorities and displaced families to discuss protection needs.

Moving forward, in coordination with local authorities, UNHCR will provide humanitarian assistance to the community in the form of non-food items and will also implement quick impact projects (QIPs) that will benefit both the hosting community and IDPs. So far in 2018, UNHCR implemented 75 QIPs and distributed non-food items to over 31,000 IDPs and returnees. UNHCR also provided cash-based interventions to 12,686 individuals.

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