Libya is now in its eleventh year of instability and conflict following the fall of the Gaddafi regime. The number of internally displaced people (IDPs) reached 168,001, with an additional 652,000 returnees looking to resettle after years of displacement. There is an estimated 803,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance.
The country had been geographically split since 2014, with the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) governing the west and the Libyan National Army (LNA) overseeing the east. In March 2021, the Government of National Unity (GNU) was formed, bringing together the two parties, and increasing hopes of stability. However, repeated postponements of national elections in 2022 could renew conflicts, displacement, and disrupt the delivery of assistance.
Additionally, there are 621,007 migrants in Libya, including an estimated 5,000 refugees and migrants in detention centers. Years of conflict between armed groups, political and economic insecurity and shrinking humanitarian access, exacerbated by the socioeconomic impacts of Covid-19 have altogether deepened this neglected crisis.
People we helped in Libya in 2021
NRC began operations in Libya in 2017 and has continued to scale up its operational and programming presence to support Libyan IDPs, returnees and host communities as well as vulnerable migrants, refugees and asylum seekers.
NRC implements education, information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA), shelter and cash activities in Tripoli, Benghazi. Ajdabiya, and Tawergha. It is scaling up its advocacy and rapid needs assessment capacity to improve the protection environment for the most vulnerable communities in Libya and to support them in accessing durable solutions.
NRC is the co-lead of the National Education and Shelter/NFI Sector Working Groups, and is an active member of the Libya INGO Forum. NRC has established offices and guesthouses in Tripoli and Benghazi.
NRC’s education response ensures that children and young people have access to quality, safe and inclusive education. The education environment in Libya requires emergency/transitional and resilience/sustainable support. NRC responds to both through its established community centres, in formal and informal schools, and through remote learning modalities.
NRC also works with communities to provide community-based education services, and provides training and support to incentive teachers. Key activities supported by the NRC Libya education teams include:
- Better Learning Programme (BLP)
- delivery of school and hygiene kits and Covid-19 enhancements
- teacher professional development
- basic Literacy and Numeracy (BLN) non-formal education programming
- non-formal remedial programming for non-Libyan children and youth
- adolescent girls clubs (AGCs) and adolescent boys clubs (ABCs)
- parent-teacher associations (PTAs)
- outreach and community awareness activities
- sector coordination and capacity building
- continued service delivery from community centres in Tripoli and in Ajdabiya
- youth technical and non-technical training and social engagement
NRC Libya education teams are also scaling-up youth programming to vulnerable Libyans and non-Libyans. Trainings focusing on life and professional skills will be facilitated, allowing youth to find work or start their own business. NRC will support businesses growth through on-the-job mentorship and trainings, and in-kind or cash assistance.
Education activities have continued during the Covid-19 outbreak, with classes and learning support being provided over Whatsapp, student kits being distributed and registration of students taking place.
Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)
NRC supports vulnerable displacement and conflict-affected communities to establish legal identity, including obtaining legal civil documentation (LCD), and claim their housing, land and property (HLP) and employment (ELP) rights, as well as access essential services (AES). This is done through awareness raising on legal protection needs by providing information at the community level. Through mobile group information sessions (GIS), NRC raises awareness on LCD,HLP, ELP, and AES rights, procedural requirements and how to exercise them. NRC is also providing GIS to refugees and asylum seekers on relevant topics including residency, work rights, tenancy and civil documentation that provide specific information on available legal avenues.
Furthermore, NRC provides populations of concern with direct legal counselling and legal assistance: representation before formal courts, administrative bodies, or through collaborative dispute resolution mechanisms. NRC also provides technical assistance and capacity building to duty-bearers, customary justice actors and displaced community leaders on property rights, protection against eviction, property restitution and compensation.
Over the next year, NRC will also provide HLP support to NRC shelter teams and the shelter sector at large by conducting HLP due diligence for shelter beneficiaries and training NRC shelter teams in HLP and security of tenure issues. This will help ensure that mitigation measures are in place for not doing harm, including reducing the risk of eviction and increasing beneficiary protection against exclusion from compensation schemes and further displacements linked to insecurity of tenure or lack of access to required legal documentation. Moreover, NRC is strengthening its approach to support access to employment laws and procedures. NRC is now the main focal point in Tripoli and Benghazi for IDP, host community, or returnee people in need of legal aid.
Shelter and settlements
NRC Libya’s shelter programme aims to promote the right to access safe, protective and adequate housing and basic community infrastructure and facilities for IDP, returnee and affected populations residing in urban settings and IDP settlements. Shelter is essential for people to live safely and securely, while a lack of adequate shelter in many areas features among the key obstacles to sustainable return across Libya.
During emergencies or following new displacements, the NRC team seeks to address basic and immediate needs of Libyan and non-Libyan communities through the provision of core relief and basic household items, hygiene kits and cash assistance. The NRC Libya team also works in urban settings and informal settlements where vulnerable families are supported with shelter repairs and improvements integrated with WASH upgrades, and with community level projects such as rehabilitation of water/sewage networks, medical centres, garbage removal, and communal lighting systems.
NRC advocates for improved shelter accessibility for people with special needs, and for increased security of tenure, operating in the same areas as the ICLA team to maximise the impact of this programme and in line with NRC’s commitment to integrated programming.
Shelter activities have remained a priority during the Covid-19 outbreak, with 10,139 IDPs being reached with hygiene kits to mitigate the spread of the disease.
NRC provides emergency multi-purpose cash assistance (MPCA) to vulnerable Libyan IDP and non-Libyan conflict-affected communities with the aim of addressing urgent and protection needs. The cash assistance is provided through pre-loaded gift cards that allow direct purchase of commodities from more than 3,000 selling points in Libya. Through this approach, NRC lessens the effects of negative coping mechanisms of the target beneficiary group. In 2021, NRC provided cash assistance to 14,561 individuals to facilitate access to basic needs.
- Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA)
- Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA)
- United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR)
- Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
- United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
- Education Cannot Wait (ECW)
- Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA)
- European Union Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF) for Africa
- Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SDC)
- Gamers Without Borders (GWB)
About NRC in Libya
Libya: Eleven years since the uprising, a deepening political crisis threatens rebuilding efforts
Eleven years since Libya’s uprising, a deepening political crisis now threatens progress made to help communities rebuild over the last year. Tens of thousands of Libyans risk losing access to adequate housing and services, warns the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).
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