• Crisis Severity ?
    4.1
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    4.0
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    4.0
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    4.2
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    4.0
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 6,871,000 Total population [?]
  • 1,800,000 People affected [?]
  • 1,535,000 People displaced [?]
  • 1,673 Fatalities reported [?]
  • 1,026,000 People in Need [?]

Overview

04/12/2019

Civil war since 2014 has generated shortages of food, fuel, water, medical supplies and electricity, and reduced access to healthcare and public services. Multiple parties are fighting for control of the country. Libya is divided among two governments: the House of Representatives (HOR) based in eastern Libya and a UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA) based in Tripoli. Both governments rely on the support of militias, and alliances are subject to local territorial, political and economic interests. The Libyan National Army (LNA), a mix of tribal or regional-based armed groups allied with the HOR, is another major stakeholder to the conflict. ?

Insecurity has greatly limited humanitarian access and hindered the planning and delivery of humanitarian assistance. Healthcare is limited by lack of medical staff, structural damage, and shortages of medicines. Attacks on medical personnel and facilities are frequently reported, often leading to suspension of services.?Violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including attacks against civilians, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearance, and torture, are widespread and committed by all parties to the conflict. As of July 2019, Libya counts over 655,000 migrants and refugees, who are particularly vulnerable to the violence.?

Latest Developments

09/06/2020

For more information on the humanitarian impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, please see the relevant paragraph below.

ACAPS' team is daily monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Find more information related to the outbreak.

09/06/2020: Around 18,500 people were displaced in total following changes in control over Tarhuna, and expected conflict near Sirte in the first week of June. IDPs moved east, mainly to Bani Waleed, Ejdabia, and Benghazi, most sheltering with host families, and some in mosques and schools opened by local administration. Food, WASH and NFIs are needed. Further displacement is expected?

Humanitarian Access

30/10/2019

Very High constraints

Insecurity throughout the country continues to hamper access. The implementation of humanitarian activities remains unpredictable due to multiple factors including unexploded ordnance and improvised explosives contamination, threats of kidnapping of personnel, proliferation of armed groups with no clear chain of command, and periodic escalation of violence. Armed groups frequently target aid workers and health facilities. Access to detention centres remains very limited. Lack of a unified government perpetuates a volatile administrative environment regarding visas and other requirements to implement activities in Libya. Since April 2019, conflict has escalated in Tripoli, restricting humanitarian access to the capital. At the height of the escalation, civilians close to the frontline were unable to leave due to the fighting intensity. Humanitarian operations responding to the fighting in Murzuq, which intensified in August 2019, are hindered by increased insecurity, cut supply chains, and tribal affiliation of personnel.

Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.

Risk

The opening of a new frontline along the Abu Qurayn-Tawergha-Misrata main road leads to displacement and protection violations, while threatening the livelihoods of the population of the three centres. Latest update: 25/03/2020

Probability

Highly unlikely Somewhat likely Highly likely

Impact

Very low Moderate Major

RATIONALE

The road connecting Abu Qurayn and Misrata is a strategic artery, which might soon be subject to increasingly intense attacks by Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan Arab Armed Forces (LAAF). Peace efforts are stagnating, while the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and its allies are under increasing economic and military pressure. With UN negotiations slowing down after the resignation of UN Envoy Ghassan Salamé and multiple ceasefire violations reported at the end of February, the new battlefront might be definitively opened.? Misrata is one of only five enclaves under GNA control and connects by road directly to Tripoli. This eastern front of GNA forces has been under pressure since the LAAF entered Sirte on 10 January and took its Ghardabiya military airbase, a vantage point for a military campaign.? Furthermore, Misratan militias have shown signs of internal division, as some of those responsible for the defence of Sirte withdrew, leaving the city to the LAAF.? Misratan militias have given essential military support to the GNA in Tripoli, including during the offensive started in April 2019.? An escalation of ground clashes from Abu Qurayn and more intense shelling along the main road up to and including Misrata would oblige the GNA to divert forces from the capital, thinning out its defences, and put further pressure on the Tripoli government, as it struggles economically with a LAAFimposed blockade of oil exports.?
Routine violations of the 2011 arms embargo and continuous inflow of foreign weapons and personnel (benefitting both parties), are likely to result in the LAAF having enough resources to open the battlefront.?
 
IMPACT

The humanitarian consequences of the offensive would resemble those in Tripoli. The Misrata region already hosts the third highest number of people in need countrywide: 83,000 of the regional population of 580,000.? The number of people in need and overall level of need will grow. Based on recent displacement in the region, thousands from Abu Qurayn, Tawergha, and Misrata would be expected to flee to Misrata city and Sirte, adding to the 48,800 IDPs in both regions, with some thousands going as far east as Benghazi.? Civilians remaining in the cities to protect their homes and employment will risk injury or death related to shelling and crossfire, as well as human rights violations. Detainees will also be exposed.? Extreme economic and livelihoods losses would ensue. Some 70% of the 400,000 Misratans work in trade and industry. The insecurity will shrink production and increase unemployment.? One-third of Misratans already spend over 75% of their income on food and they lack coping capacity; the livelihoods of several of the 59,000 migrants in the region surviving on informal work  would also be affected.? Targeting of health facilities and personnel will further diminish access to medicines and specialised care. Disruption of waste management will increase the risk of disease outbreak.? Schools will likely become increasingly overcrowded - 11% of schools are already closed regionally - and children exposed to danger travelling to and from school.? As the Tripoli Mitiga airport is often non-operational, a closure of Misrata’s airport will deprive civilians of yet another exit and humanitarians of a supply route.? Impediments to cargo delivery due to attacks on the seaport will also undermine access.?

Read this risk

COVID-19 Outbreak

01/05/2020

Libya has reported 61 confirmed cases and three deaths as of 1 May. Despite international calls for ceasefire due to the outbreak, clashes in western areas of the country continue. The health system has deteriorated after nine years of instability. Hospitals have been targeted in attacks, and are understaffed, including facilities chosen for the COVID-19 response. People living in overcrowded spaces, and those with pre-existing needs and potentially more difficult access to healthcare are of particular concern during the outbreak. Libya has an estimated 356,000 IDPs, 654,000 migrants, 48,600 registered refugees and asylum seekers, and detainees. Both the Tripoli and Tobruk governments have enforced a curfew and have closed gathering spaces including mosques and cafes. Ongoing clashes impede a full-scale humanitarian response to the emerging outbreak.?

Key Priorities

14/02/2020

Protection 490,000 people are exposed to physical harm and human rights violations. Migrants are particularly exposed to violence by Libyan security forces, militias, smuggling networks and criminal gangs. Several cities which had been previously cleared of UXOs (unexploded ordnances) have now been re-contaminated. The estimated 20 million units of ordnance in the country threaten civilians’ daily life. ?

Health Libya is struggling with an overstretched and underdeveloped healthcare system. Healthcare facilities are unable to provide sufficient care to the 554,000 people in the whole of Libya in critical need of healthcare assistance because of the poor quality of services, low capacity of the workforce and shortages of essential drugs and supplies. ?