• Crisis Severity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 7,400,000 Total population [?]
  • 1,800,000 People affected [?]
  • 1,522,000 People displaced [?]
  • 899 Fatalities reported [?]
  • 1,300,000 People in Need [?]



Libya has been in conflict since 2011. There is increasing international and military support for local parties to the conflict, which include the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (which controls the west of the country) and the House of Representatives in Tobruk (supported by the Libyan Arab Armed Forces, which controls large amounts of territory in the east and centre of Libya). The south is controlled by tribesmen and armed militias. Foreign weapons and mercenaries have contributed to the conflict, despite an arms embargo.?

Instability has led to mass displacement and left 1.3 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.?There are over 316,000 IDPs (22% in the Tripoli area) and around 568,000 returnees in the country.? Since the ceasefire agreement was signed in October 2020, more than 44,000 people have returned to their homes in Tripoli and neighbouring cities thanks to the improved security situation. Returns continue to be hampered however by the presence of explosive hazards (mostly in the southern neighbourhoods of Tripoli), damage to civilian infrastructure, and protection challenges.

Civilians are affected by the use of heavy weapons in residential areas and violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including executions, unlawful killings, abductions, GBV, and other forms of abuse.?Severe access constraints hamper aid delivery, while indiscriminate violence targets health, water, and education infrastructure. COVID-19 restrictions have hindered Libyans’ and migrants’ access to services and livelihoods.?

The country hosts over 574,000 migrants, including about 44,000 registered asylum seekers and refugees.?Libya is a transition area for some migrants en route to Italy. Authorities regularly intercept migrants at sea and transfer them to formal and informal detention centres in Libya. Currently, between 2,200 and 3,100 migrants and refugees are detained in official detention centres.? Migrants are exposed to severe protection violations and have identified health, accommodation, NFIs, and WASH as their main needs. 


Latest Developments


 Libyan authorities conducted a widespread security operation in Hai Andalus municipality, west Tripoli, on 1 October. The authorities carried out raids on houses and makeshift shelters in Gargaresh a known area of residence for many migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers. The raids resulted in at least one death, 15 injuries, and arbitrary detentions of over 5,150 people. Detained people, including pregnant women and children, were transferred to detention centres and report urgent needs of protection, WASH, health services, food assistance, and non-food items such as mattresses and blankets. Over 4,185 migrants were transferred to Mabani DC (detention centre), about 400 migrants to Shara Zawya DC, and at least 570 migrants to Abusliem DC, all in Tripoli governorate. The detained population in Libya are exposed to severely overcrowded conditions, limited access to assistance, and protection concerns including torture, sexual violence, and extortion. There were over 597,600 migrants reported in Libya in June 2021. ?

Humanitarian Access


HIGH constraints

The complex, protracted crisis in Libya continues to affect humanitarian access and the security situation. Humanitarian access improved over March–June 2021 with the election of a new internationally recognised interim government and the opening of the border with Tunisia. Refugees and migrants, especially undocumented, remain vulnerable to detention, trafficking, and exploitation and have limited ability to access humanitarian assistance. Humanitarian agencies reported incidents involving interference in the implementation of humanitarian activities and persistent bureaucratic challenges, such as complex processes to obtain visas and customs clearances. International organisations’ rescue ships are often not allowed to enter Libyan waters, hindering rescue activities. The presence of different armed groups limits people’s freedom of movement and challenges their ability to access basic assistance and services. The presence of explosive remnants of war, mine contamination, and damaged public infrastructure prevents IDPs from returning to their areas of origin.

Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.


Disruption of the political process leads to conflict escalation and an increase in humanitarian needs Latest update: 04/04/2021


Highly unlikely Somewhat likely Highly likely


Very low Moderate Major

Risk rationale

A ceasefire agreement between the Libyan National Army (LNA) and the Government of National Accord (GNA) was reached in October 2020, following conflict escalation around Tripoli between April 2019-June 2020. Conflict levels have decreased, but the agreement is very general and open to competing interpretations, misunderstandings, or intentional ambiguity - which are likely to undermine the peace process.? 

A new interim executive authority was elected by the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum in February 2021 with a mandate to formulate a new government, establish a safe security situation, and organise elections in December 2021.? The task of creating a cabinet that satisfies all factions has been challenging for the Prime Minister designate Abdul Hamid Dbeibah, and disputes about new appointments were still ongoing as at mid-March. The new government is likely to face serious challenges in unifying divided institutions and the military, and in reaching an agreement on oil revenues. Gaining legitimacy among local armed groups also remains a challenge, impeding the creation of a unified state security apparatus. Failure to appoint a defense minister or unite military and political institutions could undermine the peace process, potentially delaying the election and aggravating political disputes.?

Although troop withdrawals and foreign fighter repatriation were at the centre of the ceasefire agreement, foreign armed groups and mercenaries remain in Libya, sustaining rivalries between military factions.? The failure of the new authority to achieve political progress and get sustained support from foreign countries such as Turkey, Russia, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt could lead to local and foreign armed groups rejecting the new authority and returning to violence, disrupting the fragile ceasefire. Growing fragmentation within the parliament and tensions between local actors attempting to exert control over territories and national resources would likely lead to renewed conflict, aggravated by mercenaries and continued foreign weapon inflows.

Risk impact

If the peace process and ceasefire fail, conflict is likely to escalate between the GNA, the LNA, and local and foreign armed groups. Tripoli, Sirte, and Aljufra governorates would be most affected by fighting because of their political importance and oil reserves. If fighting erupts, up to 150,000 people are expected to be displaced within three months from and within Tripoli, Sirte, and Benghazi governorates to safer areas. Up to 250,000 people would need additional assistance in conflict areas.? Some IDPs, particularly those from Tripoli, would experience displacement again, after having returned to their areas of origin during the ceasefire.

Fighting is expected to affect critical facilities such as airports, oil facilities, hospitals, schools, and water and sanitation infrastructure, leading to decreases in service provision and increased levels of needs. Migrants will be particularly vulnerable to conflict-driven protection concerns, as they are expected to experience increased incidents of killings, torture, arbitrary detention, sexual abuse, forced labour, extortion, and exploitation as a result of the escalation. 53% of migrants in Libya live in the west region.? Disputes over control of the Libya Central Bank and oil revenues, compounded by fragmentation and a lack of political stability, will likely have severe economic consequences.? Lack of resources and disrupted access will likely increase shortages of medical supplies and delays in salaries for medical staff, leading to additional pressures on and interruption of services in healthcare facilities, which are already overwhelmed by COVID-19. Humanitarian access will be hampered by heavy fighting, mine contamination, and movement restrictions. A significant increase in the number of humanitarian access constraints can be expected.?

Read the full Global Risk Analysis here.


Read this risk

COVID-19 Outbreak


Libya had registered 51,625 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of 22 October, with 765 related deaths. There has been an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in Libya in recent months. The number of confirmed cases in September was nearly double the number recorded in August. Most cases have been identified in Tripoli cityThere is a shortage of testing labs across the country; it is likely that the actual number of positive cases is much higher. Fuel shortages and continuous electricity and water shortages are severely impacting the healthcare sector. ?

The spread of COVID-19 is aggravating health, livelihoods, and protection needs of Libyans, refugees, and migrants. Those who are more reliant on informal and daily labour, such as IDPs and migrants, have been hard-hit by COVID-19 restrictions put in place since March, and have partially or completely lost their livelihoods. As of 30 September, 86% of migrants – across 49 municipalities in Libya – who rely on daily labour were reported to have been negatively affected by the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic.?

Key Priorities


Protection: Over 475,000 people are in need of protection assistance. Close to 500 civilians were killed in the first half of 2020 due to the indiscriminate nature of violence. Explosive remnants of war are a major risk for returnees in western cities and residents of Sirte.?

Health: Twenty attacks on health facilities were reported in the first half of 2020. The health system is struggling to provide essential healthcare, including vaccinations, and COVID-19 treatment amid staff and medicine shortages.?

Livelihoods and food security: Rising commodity prices have been depleting people’s savings.  The number of food-insecure people has risen from 336,000 at the beginning of 2020 to 683,000 in May 2020, including 209,000 migrants, due to multiple factors including COVID-19 constraints.?

Shelter and NFIs: Long power shortages are common and are increasingly reported in the east and west of Libya.  Returnees often find their houses destroyed or damaged houses and are unable to afford reconstruction costs. Thousands of IDPs are living in hazardous and substandard conditions. There is a decreasing supply of safe and affordable housing.?

WASH: Over 4 million people were facing water shortages in Libya as at January 2021. Attacks on water systems, power cuts, and a lack of repair items have led to a significant decline in services. This puts pressure on families to secure water. The problem is likely to worsen over the next few months with the start of the summer season.?

Education:  Schools are currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, leaving 1.3 million children at risk of not finding an alternative form of learning. Before and during the pandemic attacks on education infrastructure were reported.?