UNHCR Highlights the Challenges, Suffering and Needs of the Libyan People – Al Marsad

Kelly T. Clements, UN Deputy High Commissioner for UN Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), pledged at the end of a two-day visit to Libya to continue supporting displaced people and others affected by the ongoing clashes.

[Libya, 30 August 2019] – Clements assessed, during her visit to Libya, the growing humanitarian needs facing the country. While clashes are going on a daily basis, many people have lost their homes, suffer from reduced services, and endure increasing daily power and electricity cuts. More than 268,000 Libyans are now internally displaced inside the country, including 120,000 displaced since the beginning of clashes earlier in April.

“People in Libya are suffering immensely. It is crucial that humanitarian support keeps pace with the rising needs. They must not be overlooked,” said Clements

Clements visited the UNHCR-affiliated Gathering and Departure Facility in Libya, where she spoke to refugees from different African countries including Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan, and Ethiopia who expressed frustration at the harsh conditions they are going through during their detention and the limited solutions in third countries.

“I was moved by the stories of resilience and courage I heard in Libya. Refugees in Libya are suffering from abuse at the hands of human traffickers, prolonged periods of detention, and over 50,000 struggle to sustain themselves living in the urban community,” she said.

“During discussions with the Minister of Interior, Mr. Fathi Bashagha, UNHCR renewed its commitment to work together towards ending arbitrary detention in Libya, where over 4,800 refugees and migrants are detained.  Clements also conveyed the readiness of UNHCR to support refugees in the urban community after they are released from detention and to continue to advocate for solutions for them outside of Libya,” the UN Support Mission in Libya reported.

The UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner said, “Solutions in safe third countries change the lives of refugees; it’s a lifeline, but the options are very limited. We need additional support from the international community to expedite evacuations, resettlement and provide additional legal pathways for refugees in Libya.”

During her meetings with UNHCR partners, Clements discussed the importance of unifying efforts in order to provide the required assistance to the displaced people in Libya, stressing that the humanitarian works’ community is facing several challenges including security and limited access.

@ Al Marsad English (2019).