Libya Crisis Response Plan 2020-2021

Last updated: February 12 2021
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People in need
People Targeted

Save lives and respond to needs through humanitarian assistance and protection

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People Targeted
People Targeted description

IOM Libya’s programmes will benefit people in need of humanitarian assistance, both migrants and IDPs. According to the Libya 2020 HRP, an estimated 880,000 people are in need of humanitarian assistance.


Protection of the most vulnerable migrants is crucial in a context such as Libya. IOM works to ensure that migrants requiring specialized assistance are appropriately supported while alleviating suffering and maintaining human dignity. At the same time, IOM works to find alternatives to detention for vulnerable migrants, such as by offering shelter with host families.

Planned activities include:

  • Strengthen the identification and assistance of victims of trafficking (VoT) and persons at risk through specialized outreach and case management;
  • Provide technical support and assistance to the Government to promote the establishment of legal and policy frameworks to counter-trafficking;
  • Implement community-based prevention activities to address the root causes of trafficking in persons;
  • Increase capacities of officials on the identification of VoTs, provision of assistance, and case investigation;
  • Increase capacities of Libyan NGOs, and INGOs on identification, assistance, and referrals;
  • Conduct research, data collection, and analysis on trafficking in persons;
  • Legal review and assistance to relevant ministries on developing policies on alternatives to the detention;
  • Capacity building of Libyan authorities and local partners on protection of migrants including identification of migrants eligible for alternatives to detention and referrals to such initiatives;
  • As an alternative to migrant’s detention, promote the creation of shelters for migrant women and children as an alternative to detention - safe spaces where needed services and assistance will be offered;
  • Develop alternatives to detention specifically for unaccompanied and separated children, to ensure a safe and protected environment to the identified children while their best interest is identified and assessed;
  • Conduct capacity building for authorities on protection, with a special focus on child protection.
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Plan types

Movement assistance

IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return and Reintegration (VHR) programme assists stranded migrants to return home and provides them with support, before and during their travel as well as upon return to their country of origin. VHR is an alternative to a continued irregular presence in the country where a number of protection risks are present, such as the possibility of being detained. VHR is ever more relevant as intentions to return among migrants are on the rise, due to the increasing difficulty to migrate to third countries and the risks and challenges of remaining in Libya. In 2019, IOM assisted more than 9,000 migrants to return to 36 countries of origin. Through reintegration packages and support, IOM works to address also the root causes of irregular migration, which are often related to poverty and lack of livelihood opportunities in the country of origin.

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Mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian response

Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) is chronically neglected in Libya due to underdeveloped community-based and specialized services, shortage of qualified workforce, lack of facilities, and social stigma towards people with mental illness. The situation for migrants and refugees is of particular concern, as they invariably face psychological distress due to their precarious living conditions in Libya, experiences en-route to Libya, or due to mental disorders which require significant MHPSS services. MHPSS services are often closely linked with health and protection interventions to ensure a comprehensive and integrated approach when addressing the needs of the migrant population. 

Planned activities include:

  • Awareness-raising, basic counselling, individual/group support and referrals of the most vulnerable migrants at disembarkation points/detention centres;
  • Provision of comprehensive MHPSS care to VoTs survivors of gender-based violence and people with psychological distress and mental health problems;
  • Capacity building of Libya practitioners, and provision of basic/advanced counselling/clinical skills;
  • Enhanced coordination mechanisms supporting national efforts for service mapping, referrals, data collection, joint studies and assessments.
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Health support

IOM operates mobile outreach services to reach vulnerable populations in different locations in communities and migrants dwellings, besides supporting some primary health care centres of the Ministry of Health, benefiting migrants and affected host communities. IOM’s health interventions are crucial and often lifesaving, as for example in the case of armed attacks. In addition to providing primary health care services, lifesaving interventions and specialized health care in hospitals, IOM also conducts pre-departure medical screening for the resettlement of refugees and fitness-to-travel (FTT) screenings for migrants who are returned to their country of origin through IOM's VHR programme. IOM also supports the revitalization of the health system through targeted and need-based assistance in terms of required equipment, medicines and supplies to selected health facilities and building the capacity of public health professionals, which is vital to address the challenges in the national health system that are both structural and systemic.

Planned activities include: 

  • Provide mobile outreach services at multiple locations in Tripoli, Zawiya, Khums, Zwara, Sobrata, Zintan in the west; Kufra, Tokra, Qnafouda in the east and Sebha and Ubhari in the south and expand from the present 14 teams to 30, expanding in areas of Sirte, Mistrata, Zletin, Tabruk, Shahat, Shati and underserved areas in Tripoli, especially in the south;
  • Expand health teams from 6 to 10 locations;
  • Organize further capacity building activities for health care workers on the complete package of primary health care including case management of communicable diseases and specialized emergency medical services through the deployment of emergency medical teams. The emergency teams will also provide supplementary capacity to the existing health workforce in health facilities to enhance availability and quality of services. IOM will train an additional 150 health care providers to build upon the already trained pool of 188;
  • Improve access to life-saving and essential primary health care services through the provision of medical equipment and supplies to targeted primary and secondary health facilities that provide services to vulnerable migrants, IDPs, returnees and host communities; and increasing this support from 18 health facilities to 40 health facilities;
  • Expand and build upon the successful pilot on community-based disease surveillance for mobile populations and IOM's assistance to the ongoing disease surveillance system through strengthening of the existing Early Warning Alert and Response Network (EWARN) and Rapid Response Network (RRN) under the coordination of Emergency Operations Center (EOC). This will help to confirm early detection and responses to disease outbreaks;
  • Continue to support the District Health Information System and extend support to other primary health care centers (PHCs) and hospitals.

IOM will assist in strengthening coordination mechanism among partners delivering health services to vulnerable and stranded migrants, IDPs, returnees, refugees, asylum seekers and other vulnerable populations throughout Libya. In its role as co-chair of the Migration Health Sub-Working Group (MH-SWG), IOM in collaboration with MOH will facilitate coordination of partners' activities (e.g. capacity building, service provision, referral mechanisms) in order to avoid duplication and promote complementarity and synergies.

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Plan types

Shelter, settlements and non-food items

Support to migrants and Libyans in need

IOM will support migrants, IDPs, returnees and host communities with direct assistance in the form of shelter and non-food items.

Planned activities:

  • Distribute in-kind NFIs, hygiene kits and shelter kits to IDPs, returnees and host communities;
  • Cash for rent assistance where appropriate;
  • Repair and rehabilitate shelters where IDPs, returnees and host communities reside; 
  • Conduct field shelter and NFI needs assessments in targeted areas. 

Reaching migrants in hard to reach locations

IOM’s Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism (MRRM), provides targeted and comprehensive services to migrants, especially in hard to reach locations where they have less access to services. The assistance includes NFIs/hygiene kits, urgent health care, psychological support, counselling, facilitation of contact with families, referral services based on the identified needs, and information and awareness-raising on the risks of irregular migration.

Planned activities:

  • Regular mobile outreach to the migrant communities along the migratory routes in Libya to identify needs;
  • Provision of emergency food and non-food items and referral to other service providers including health and psychosocial support;
  • Conducting information campaigns and awareness-raising of the dangers of irregular migration and other services available to migrants.

Saving lives at sea

Authorities involved in Search and Rescue (SAR) operations have a crucial role in assisting migrants in distress both during the rescue as well as upon disembarkation. IOM thus works to enhance the knowledge of the authorities involved in SAR operations on topics such as first aid and foreign languages. This improves participants’ communication skills and their ability to reduce the initial distress of people returning by sea, and accordingly to better understand migrants' needs.

Planned activities:

  • Provision of required saving lives supplies (life jackets, emergency blankets, first aid kits, buoys, body bags, operation suits, gloves and masks);
  • Enhancing the infrastructure of reception areas at disembarkation points through the establishment of clinics, showering facilities, lavatories and operation rooms;
  • Enhancing the capacity of government authorities, through delivering training on topics such as migration management, human rights, language training, information technology (IT) and first aid.
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Emergency consular assistance

In order to support migrants access consular services and facilitate the issuance of travel documents for those wishing to voluntarily return to their countries of origin IOM plans to:

  • Enhance the capacity of consular officials in providing timely and effectively consular services to their nationals;
  • Support the delivery of consular services by governments without diplomatic missions in Libya through the identification of specific bottlenecks to the issuance of travel documents and tailored support.
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Displacement tracking for humanitarian response

Through the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), IOM has been providing a common operating picture concerning the movement of IDPs, returnees and migrants in Libya since 2016, allowing humanitarian actors to provide timely assistance to those in need. The provision of DTM’s timely information packages on locations and evolving needs of displaced populations is not only essential for responding to sudden population movements but also informs policy discussions and longer-term humanitarian response planning.

Through its mobility tracking, flow monitoring and needs assessment activities, IOM has established itself as a data hub for quantitative data on migratory flows to Libya, migrant presence in Libya disaggregated by nationality and area, as well as humanitarian needs of migrants. In 2019, IOM added needs and vulnerability pilot modules to DTM’s Global Flow Monitoring methodology in order to provide more in-depth information on the needs and vulnerabilities of migrants. All activities are implemented through period bi-monthly data collection cycles, allowing trend analysis over time to provide an evidence-base for both policy-level discussions and to guide humanitarian action.

Activities will include:

  • Flow Monitoring: Tracking migrants across key transit points to understand migration flows;
  • Migrant Surveys: Humanitarian Needs and Vulnerability surveys to inform humanitarian action;
  • Mobility Tracking: Capturing data on a seven-week cycle on all IDPs, returnees and migrants to identify their current locations;
  • Detention Center Profiling: Providing snapshots of detention centres under the management of Libya’s DCIM;
  • Emergency Event Tracking: Rapid displacement assessments to provide baseline information within 72 hours of an incident;
  • Intention surveys and assessment to determine pathways to durable solutions for displaced populations;
  • Information Management capacity building for Libyan line-ministries.
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Provision of water, sanitation and hygiene in emergencies

IOM will provide urgently needed water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance to affected populations by clashes and displacement and vulnerable populations in Libya, including detained or stranded migrants and refugees in detention centres and urban areas.

Through those activities implemented in urban settings, IOM will also address the needs of people requiring assistance within affected Libyan communities. In terms of locations of implementation, IOM will follow the division of labour agreed with other humanitarian stakeholders and approved by the sector coordinator, to avoid potential overlap and encourage synergies. The resilience of local communities will be enhanced through awareness and knowledge sharing activities, alongside the provision of material support, such as the installation of pumps and the expansion of water networks to improve the overall WASH conditions.

Planned activities include:

  • Rehabilitation of WASH facilities;
  • Provision of essential hygiene items to Libyans who have been affected by clashes and displacement and non-Libyans, including migrants and refugees at the detention centres;
  • Awareness-raising on hygiene practices.
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Multi-sectoral support

Includes funding which supports multi-sectoral interventions or cannot be attributed to a specific activity area.
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Address the drivers and longer term impacts of crises and displacement through investments in recovery and crisis prevention

Funding required
People Targeted
People Targeted description

IOM Libya’s programmes will benefit communities with conflict potential (inter-tribal conflicts between Libyans, or between migrant populations and host communities) where support for the whole community would strengthening social cohesion.

Community stabilization

IOM engages in creating the conditions for normality for those returning to certain communities in Libya. IOM’s community stabilization programme seeks to assist in re-establishing stability and security, preventing further forced migration, restoring trust among community members, vulnerable populations and local authorities, and lay the foundations for durable solutions, lasting peace and sustainable development. It further contributes to the revitalization of social, cultural and economic life for Libyan communities and migrants. IOM delivers a range of small-scale social cohesion and infrastructure activities across four locations (Sabha, Qatroun, Kufra and Benghazi) in fragile communities that suffer from growing pressure due to large-scale displacements and increased migrant flows. These communities also often experience the strain of scarce resources and poor service delivery by the local government.

A pivotal aspect of IOM’s approach is that programming is community-driven. IOM actively encourages and support communities to self-organize, analyse and jointly prioritize their needs. Community priorities serve as a basis for IOM’s community interventions. A key element of this approach is the Community Management Committees which serve as an intermediary between the community and IOM, and are made up of representative membership.

IOM Libya aims to implement the following: 

  • Support the restoration of basic services through support to authorities' delivery of critical infrastructure prioritized through consultative community processes, including through the rehabilitation of, inter alia, schools, clinics, water wells, and playgrounds, as well as the provision of equipment;
  • Promote social cohesion through the capacity building of civil society organizations on how to plan and manage community-based projects, and the consequent provision of small grants to facilitate the implementation of such projects;
  • Enhance livelihood opportunities through the delivery of coaching sessions and in-kind grants to support micro-entrepreneurs in setting up or expanding small businesses.
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Operational presence in


International staff and affiliated work force
National staff and affiliated work force
IOM field office


Figures are as of 31 December 2020. For more details of IOM's operational capacity in country, please see the IOM Capacity section.