IOM strategic vision for Libya is to work towards ensuring that migrants, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and all other mobile populations, including those affected by conflict in Libya peacefully coexist with local communities in an environment where human rights, dignity and well-being are respected and promoted by a migration governance system that fosters resilience and development. IOM plans to continue delivering life-saving assistance and improving the resilience of migrant population and local communities, while contributing to the establishment of a comprehensive, evidence-based, and people-centred migration governance system to support the transition towards longer term solutions for migration management in Libya.
According to the 2022 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) for Libya, 0.8 million people are expected to be in need in 2022, over half of which are migrants, IDPs and returnees. The HNO confirms that migrants and IDPs in general have more severe needs, compared to other groups of concern, and represent nearly a third of all people in the extreme need categories. Since January 2021, there has also been a marked increase in migrants who were rescued at sea and disembarked in Libyan ports and a sharp increase of migrants placed in detention. IOM Libya will support the following groups through humanitarian assistance interventions:
IOM Libya will also provide capacity building support for NGOs, local and national authorities for instance on vaccinations and support for humanitarian operations, as well as consular entities for online consular assistance among others.
Providing multi-sectorial assistance to meet migrants' basic needs along the Central Mediterranean Route
Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism (MRRM)
IOM’s MRRM programme brings together under one mechanism a wide range of services and needs-based assistance for vulnerable migrants living in urban settings, especially in hard-to-reach locations where they have less access to services. To this end, IOM will:
- Conduct regular mobile outreach to migrant communities along the migratory routes in Libya to identify needs;
- Provide non-food items, hygiene kits and emergency food assistance, as well as medical services and mental health and psychosocial support sessions;
- Refer migrants to specialized protection services and to IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) programme which offers migrants the opportunity to return to their country of origin, following a rights-based approach;
- Conduct individual and group outreach sessions on the dangers and risks of irregular migration, as well as provide information on alternatives, disease control and prevention, and other available humanitarian services in Libya and their countries of origin.
Search and Rescue (SAR)
IOM’s Search and Rescue Programme consists of a tailored mechanism to provide protection-oriented and human rights-based assistance to migrants upon rescue/interception at sea and disembarkation on the Libyan shores and to those rescued in the desert. To this end, IOM will:
- Provide life-saving equipment (life jackets, emergency blankets, first aid kits, buoys, body bags, operation suits, gloves and masks);
- Enhance the infrastructure of reception areas at disembarkation points through the establishment of clinics, water and sanitation infrastructure and to ensure safe reception areas;
- Provide fumigation, disinfection and cleaning services to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic and other communicable diseases;
- Provide humanitarian assistance to migrants upon arrival at disembarkation points including medical first aid and psychological support, food and non-food items, vulnerability screening, and referral for protection assistance for men, women and children;
- Enhance the capacity of government authorities, through delivering training on topics such as migration management, human rights, language training, information technology and first aid.
IOM’s humanitarian health interventions aim to increase access to primary health care services while responding to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. In doing so, IOM promotes migrant-inclusive health systems and advocates rights to health, to ensure that no one is left behind. To this end IOM will:
- Provide primary health care services in detention centres, disembarkation points and urban settings as well as referrals to specialized health care in hospitals or private clinics;
- Conduct pre-departure medical screenings and fitness-to-travel (FTT) screenings for migrants who voluntarily chose to return to their country of origin through IOM's VHR programme;
- Provide mobile outreach services at multiple locations across Libya and expand medical outreach teams, especially in underserved areas.
In order to support migrants’ access to consular services including facilitation of issuance of travel documents and other official documentation, and provision of enhanced consular assistance 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 including to those in detention centers, urban locations or virtually through online consular sessions;
- Provide support to the delivery of consular services by governments without diplomatic missions in Libya through addressing identified bottlenecks to the issuance of travel documents and tailored support to their nationals.
The MHPSS programme aims to empower communities and increase resilience, reduce suffering and promote psychosocial well-being, improve mental health and treat or prevent mental disorders, and enhance accessibility to MHPSS services to affected populations, migrants and Libyans alike. To this end, IOM will:
- Implement direct and remote MHPSS services through IOM psychosocial mobile teams (PMTs) to migrants and crisis-affected population in Libya, facilitate referrals to specialized mental health care if needed and referrals of vulnerable migrants to basic needs and protection services. Direct MHPSS services include psychosocial awareness raising sessions, basic counselling, support groups, art based psychosocial activities, recreational activities, psychosocial assessments, psychoeducation, awareness raising on the psychosocial impact of COVID-19 and remote counselling through a helpline. MHPSS services will be provided in urban locations, migrants’ schools, disembarkation points following search and rescue operations, and in detention centres;
- Organize MHPSS capacity building activities targeting frontline actors, health staff and government officials (training on MHPSS in emergency and displacement, MHPSS response to COVID-19/pandemic settings, psychological first aid (PFA) and supportive communication);
- Provide comprehensive MHPSS to victims of trafficking (VoTs), survivors of gender-based violence (GBV) and people suffering from psychological distress and mental health problems including for IDPs due to their unique vulnerabilities experienced during displacement.
Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) supports stranded migrants to voluntarily return to their countries of origin and provides suitable socioeconomic reintegration when needed. Assistance under the VHR programme is designed to provide tailored support to vulnerable migrants. To this end, IOM will:
- Conduct field visits and outreach sessions in detention centers and urban areas to inform migrants of IOM’s free of charge voluntary return assistance programme as well as identify and register those expressing interest in voluntarily returning to their countries of origin;
- Organize outreach seminars and trainings to migrant community leaders and other relevant stakeholders to enhance two-way communication and direct access to the programme;
- Facilitate exit visa requests on behalf of migrants once their travel documents have been received from their embassy;
- Organize migrants’ voluntary return to their countries of origin through charter or commercial flights, ensuring that special protection and/or medical assistance is provided in Libya or upon departure to the most vulnerable migrants;
- Conduct medical fit-to-travel checkups as well as pre-departure distribution of clothing and footwear to migrants in detention to assure the most dignified and comfortable return conditions possible;
- Provide emergency humanitarian assistance prior to departure and ensure coordination with IOM receiving missions to provide continuum of care.
Protection of the most vulnerable migrants is crucial in a context such as Libya. IOM works to ensure that migrants requiring specialized assistance are identified and appropriately supported with protection interventions to alleviate their suffering and to maintain human dignity. To this end, IOM will:
- Undertake rapid and in-depth vulnerability assessments for identified migrants to ensure informed case management or referrals to services;
- Facilitate access to services and strengthen the assistance to vulnerable migrants such as victims of trafficking, survivors of GBV and other groups through improved protection monitoring, specialized outreach, referrals, and case management;
- Build the capacity of Libyan authorities, local and international non-governmental organizations, IOM staff and other partners on protection of migrants, including case management and referrals of vulnerable migrants such as VoTs, survivors of GBV and other groups;
- Continue to provide advocacy to end arbitrary immigration detention and support for alternative solutions to detention for particularly vulnerable migrants, including women and children;
- Promote the integrated delivery of protection services to migrants and IDPs through mainstreaming of protection and accountability to affected populations within IOM humanitarian interventions. IOM will also ensure that all staff are trained on the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) and on how to respond to a disclosure of GBV in a safe manner;
- Provide specialized assistance to unaccompanied and separated children, including best interest assessments and determination to provide safe long-term solutions assistance;
- Provide technical support and assistance to the government to promote the establishment of legal and policy frameworks to counter trafficking in persons;
- Conduct research, data collection, and analysis on trafficking in persons and/or protection concerns in Libya;
- Raise awareness of migrants and host families on available services, and conduct focus group discussions with communities' members to ensure programming decisions consider their voices;
- Integrate community-based protection programming to improve access to communities, promote community ownership and strengthen existing capacities within vulnerable groups;
- In line with its Protection Mainstreaming guidance and Framework for Addressing GBV in Crises (GBViC Framework), integrate measures to ensure that the principles of Do No Harm, safety and non-discrimination guide any activity and are adhered to throughout all interventions.
IOM will provide urgently needed water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance to populations affected by violence, conflict and displacement alongside other vulnerable populations in Libya including detained or stranded migrants and refugees in detention centres and urban areas. Interventions will be conducted in a gender-sensitive manner in line with IOM's Gender Policy as well as the Accountability to Affected Populations Framework (AAP) and the United Nations principles on interventions in detention centres. Specifically, IOM will:
- Provide essential WASH items and hygiene kits inclusive of menstrual hygiene management (MHM) items to Libyans who have been affected by clashes and displacement and to non-Libyans, including migrants and refugees in detention centres;
- Implement hygiene promotion sessions on improved hygiene practices, inclusive of awareness-raising activities on COVID-19, such as preventive measures and vaccinations;
- Facilitate basic WASH rehabilitation to ensure life-saving assistance can be provided, such as access to drinking water, washing areas and ventilation;
- Conduct fumigations, disinfections and thorough cleaning interventions in detention centres, to prevent and mitigate the outbreak of COVID-19 and other contagious diseases;
- Provide personal hygiene kits available to migrants in detention centres through monthly distributions.
IOM will provide lifesaving core relief items to affected populations with a particular focus on the most vulnerable individuals and families in the aftermath of disasters and displacements. This assistance will be provided to migrants and refugees in detention centres, at disembarkation points and in urban settings as well as to returnees living in damaged homes, IDPs and host communities to restore the well-being of affected populations, increase their dignity and improve their living conditions. In 2022, IOM will:
- Conduct rapid field shelter and NFI needs assessments in targeted areas to assess the needs of newly displaced persons, if any, or of returnees to locations formerly affected by conflict;
- Consult community representatives and local partners to identify the critical needs and needs of vulnerable groups in addition to carrying out targeted needs assessment to verify priorities;
- Distribute NFIs, hygiene kits and shelter kits, including emergency shelter equipment, to migrants, IDPs, returnees and host communities; The content of NFI and hygiene kits will be harmonized with the S/NFI and WASH sectors. The kits will also be gender-sensitive to ensure the needs of vulnerable groups are accounted for;
- Activate cash-based interventions where appropriate in lieu of in-kind multi-sectorial assistance e.g. cash or vouchers for shelter, NFIs, medicines, etc.;
- Support returnees and migrants with the rehabilitation of damaged houses through the provision of in-kind assistance or cash support; female- children- and elderly- headed households will be prioritized in the response to ensure increased protection;
- Consult with communities and local authorities to collectively agree on places and time of distributions to ensure safety, security and accessibility;
- Ensure safe and confidential complaints and response mechanisms are in place to respond to any reported incidents of intimidation, violence and sexual exploitation;
- Conduct post-distribution monitoring to gauge beneficiary satisfaction, appropriateness and usefulness of supplies provided.
Address the drivers and longer term impacts of crises and displacement through investments in recovery and crisis prevention
The displacement of Libyans and the presence of migrants has compounded political, social and economic challenges facing local communities. Ongoing conflict, competition over resources and the deteriorating local economy have proven conducive to irregular migration activities, further heightening community-level discord. Under the pressure of this instability, pre-existing tensions between people divided by tribe, race and ethnicity have become increasingly challenging, making the tasks of local governance and fair allocation of government resources ever more difficult.
IOM Libya’s programmes will benefit communities where there is potential for conflict, including inter-tribal tensions between Libyans, or between migrant populations and host communities. IOM supports a whole of community approach to strengthen social cohesion and reduce points of tension.
IOM Libya will also work closely with CSOs, NGOs, local and national authorities, and training centres, among others, under this objective.
IOM supports strengthening the Libyan health system through targeted and need-based assistance including required equipment, medicines and supplies to selected health facilities and building the capacity of public health professionals, which is vital to address the critical challenges in the national health system that are both structural and systemic. To this end, IOM will:
- 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;
- Organize 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;
- Support to the National Center for Disease Control to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to migrants in a fair and equitable manner and provide potential support such as cold-chain equipment, etc.;
- Support COVID-19 vaccination through the provision of data on migrants (essential to develop vaccination plans), implementation of risk communication and community engagement campaigns, and training of health care professionals on vaccination;
- Facilitate coordination of partners' activities (e.g. capacity building, service provision, referral mechanisms) in order to avoid duplication and promote complementarity and synergies, as co-chair of the migration health sub-working group (MH-SWG), in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MOH).
IOM’s community stabilization programme seeks to assist in re-establishing stability and security, restoring trust among community members, addressing potential sources of tensions between host and mobile communities, vulnerable populations and local authorities, and laying the foundations for durable solutions, lasting peace and sustainable development. To this end, IOM will:
- Support the restoration of basic services through support to authorities' delivery of critical infrastructure and basic services 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 capacity building of civil society organizations on how to plan and manage community-based projects that are in support of inter and intra-community cohesion, and the consequent provision of small grants to facilitate the implementation of such projects; IOM will strive to engage specifically with women-led organizations to promote women’s and girls’ voices and participation;
- Enhance economic recovery via livelihood opportunities for IDPs, returnees, migrants and host communities through the delivery of coaching sessions and in-kind grants to support micro-entrepreneurs in setting up or expanding small businesses and to increase employability;
- Improve training curricula of vocational training centers to upskill youth (both migrants and host community members) as well as to facilitate access to employment opportunities;
- Capturing data on needed skills and profiling qualification among Libyan and migrant youth for better labor matching;
- Provide skills enhancement services and livelihood grants to support socioeconomic recovery and enhance grassroot capacity building.
Libya has experienced a series of crises over the past years including conflict as well as health crisis and disasters which have damaged vital infrastructure and impeded the allocation of resources for preparedness measures and repose interventions. While such crises have affected both nationals and non-nationals, migrants in most cases were unable to cope due to their pre-existing vulnerabilities.
IOM will support Libyan national entities and municipalities in enhancing their capacity to manage crises, pandemics and natural hazards and plan emergency response in such events.
The unsafe and complex journeys undertaken by migrants reaching Libya and beyond, expose them, as well as host communities, to multiple health risks and vulnerabilities which are augmented when migrants are detained, while intercepted/rescued at sea or captured from communities. To enhance health preparedness and infection prevention, IOM will:
- Continue to the government of Libya and national health partners’ preparedness and response efforts for COVID-19, including at points of entry (PoEs), to reduce associated morbidity and mortality. The contribution will include the development of standard operating procedures for PoEs in alignment with the International Health Regulation, as well as human resources support for national entities to conduct COVID-19 screening at major POEs;
- Continue to support risk communication and community engagement targeting COVID-19 and other infectious diseases;
- Strengthen disease surveillance and event-based surveillance, also focus on strengthening COVID-19 contact tracing mechanism for migrants, returnees, IDPs and the host population;
- Continue to support the District Health Information System and extend support to other primary health care centres (PHCs) and hospitals.
In Libya, MHPSS needs are chronically neglected due to longstanding challenges that include shortage of qualified specialists, weak community-based and specialized services, lack of mental health facilities and psychosocial support centres, lack of support to existing facilities, and social stigma towards people with mental health disorders. IOM has reactivated the MHPSS technical working group (TWG) in close coordination with the Ministry of Health since August 2020 and plans to continue supporting the national MHPSS coordination. In 2022, IOM will:
- Build the capacity of Libyan practitioners and MHPSS actors on MHPSS interventions in migration, emergency, displacement and pandemic settings, as well as on the provision of basic and advanced counselling skills, the use of psychological first aid (PFA) and IASC MHPSS resources on COVID-19 Pandemic response;
- Continue to support and enhance national coordination mechanisms (the MHPSS TWG) including through supporting national efforts for service mapping, referrals, data collection, joint studies and assessments;
- Provide technical support and guidance to national counterparts and strengthen referral pathways and advocacy on MHPSS issues.
Political instability, a highly volatile security situation, as well as recurrent disasters including landslides and flooding, have affected Libya in past years causing internal displacement and affecting migrants caught in crisis situations. To support relevant national authorities and other key actors to better prepare for and address the needs of host communities, migrants and IDPs in the event of a crisis, IOM will:
- Facilitate tailored capacity-building initiatives to strengthen institutions’ preparedness for crises in line with the Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC) Initiative;
- Provide support to the Libyan national and local authorities to develop an effective disaster risk mitigation plan and policies in Libya to be able to mitigate the risks related to natural hazards and plan emergency response in such events;
- Strengthen the analysis of climate, disaster and conflict risk, including impact on natural resource insecurity and resulting human mobility, and, where possible, account for prevention and early/anticipatory actions to address those risks.
Libya’s unstable political and security situation and a general lack of the rule of law in most border areas, particularly those along the southern borders, pose significant threats to migrants entering and transiting the country along the Central Mediterranean migration route. In response, IOM will:
- Strengthen the capacity of all concerned authorities to further strengthen identity management through the rollout of improved border management information systems and other biometric solutions;
- Capacitate border officials in addressing the challenges of managing borders in crisis situation through the integrated approach of humanitarian border management (HBM);
- Promote regional cooperation by supporting policies development and enhanced information sharing mechanisms with neighboring countries and beyond.
IOM programmes as well as humanitarian, development and peacebuilding actors in Libya will benefit from an enhanced evidence base for their response. Indirect targets will be the individuals IOM supports through activities and programmes that are better tailored to the needs of affected populations.
Through DTM, IOM has been providing a common operating picture concerning the movement of IDPs, returnees and migrants in Libya since 2016, allowing crisis response actors to provide timely assistance to those in need and guiding strategic planning and response as primary source of data for Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO). IOM works in coordination with Libyan counterparts including the Bureau of Statistics, the Ministry of Displacement, and the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC). To this end, IOM plans to conduct:
- Flow Monitoring: Track migrants across key transit points to understand migration flows;
- Migrant Surveys: Conduct in person face to face interviews with migrants to better understand their migration aspirations, intentions, and histories, their humanitarian needs and vulnerabilities to inform humanitarian action and migration management programming;
- Mobility Tracking: Capture sex and age disaggregated data in all 100 Libyan municipalities on an eight-week cycle on all IDPs, returnees and migrants to identify their current locations and identify priority humanitarian needs via Key Informant Interviews conducted at regional (admin 2: mantika), and municipality (admin 3: baladiya) levels;
- Detention Center Profiling: Provide snapshots of detention centres under the management of Libya’s DCIM;
- Emergency Event Tracking: Conduct rapid displacement assessments to provide baseline information within 72 hours of an incident;
- Thematic assessments and multi-sectoral needs assessments focusing on priority needs amongst migrants and IDPs;
- Intention surveys and returnee assessments to determine pathways to durable solutions for displaced populations;
- Point of entry monitoring and tracking of movement restrictions due to COVID-19 for Libya and health surveillance of migrants on the move;
- Assessments of the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 related movement restrictions on the vulnerable populations in Libya.
In addition, IOM will:
- Build the information management capacity of Libyan line-ministries;
- Conduct in-depth thematic assessments and research studies on various topics of interest such as remittances, labour migration and circular migration amongst other thematic areas.
Figures are as of 31 December 2020. For more details of IOM's operational capacity in country, please see the IOM Capacity section.