• 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

  • 6,871,000 Total population [?]
  • 1,800,000 People affected [?]
  • 1,466,000 People displaced [?]
  • 729 Fatalities reported [?]
  • 1,026,000 People in Need [?]



Libya has been mired in conflict since 2011 with increasing international and military support for local warring parties. Despite an arms embargo, foreign weapons and mercenaries have contributed to fuelling the conflict.? Local warring parties are the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli, controlling the west of the country, and the House of Representatives (HoR) in Tobruk, supported by the Libyan Arab Armed Forces (LAAF) of Khalifa Haftar,  which control large swathes of territory in the east and centre. The south is controlled by tribesmen and armed militias.?

As of May 2020, the GNA forces have regained territory and cities through a year-long offensive that pushed the battlefront to the city of Sirte, around 450km east of Tripoli.?

Instability has led to mass civilian displacement based on shifting frontlines and put 1 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. ? As of June 2020, there were 426,000 IDPs (one-fourth in the Tripoli area) and 457,000 returnees.? Severe access constraints hamper aid delivery, while indiscriminate violence targeting civilians and health, water, and education infrastructure is regularly reported. ? COVID-19 restrictions have hindered Libyans’ and migrants’ access to services and livelihoods.?

The country hosts 626,000 migrants, including 47,000 registered asylum seekers and refugees.? Libya is a transition area for some of the migrants en route to Italy. Authorities regularly intercept them at sea and transfer them to formal and informal detention centres. As of August 2020, around 2,500 refugees and migrants are detained.? Migrants identify health, accommodation, NFIs and WASH as their main needs.? They are also exposed to life-threatening hazards and protection violations.?

Humanitarian Access


extreme constraints

Libya’s borders with Tunisia and Egypt remain partially closed as a result of COVID-19 containment mea - sures, likely affecting aid passing through these borders. Humanitarians in Libya face new obstacles because of COVID-19 restrictions beyond pre-existing checkpoints, road closures, and the presence of competing authorities. Few organisations have secured curfew passes to move around during the pandemic, and the movement restrictions that existed even before COVID-19 remain an issue. Military operations and hostilities impede humanitarian operations. Libya also remains unsafe for humanita - rian workers with targeted killings, injuries, and kidnapping incidents reported in the last six months of 2020. Different authorities continue to interfere in aid delivery and distribution, especially when aid is destined to areas controlled by opposing forces. Insecurity persists with frequent attacks on civilian infrastructure, limiting the affected population’s access to services. Fuel shortages, absent or inade - quate infrastructure for aid delivery, and the remote location of some communities in need also hamper humanitarian operations. Because of its remote location and some restrictions on movement, there is low humanitarian operational presence in the southern region. Remote areas in the east and west of the country also lack operational presence. Thousands of migrants and refugees continue to be held in overcrowded detention centres across Libya, limiting their access to basic services.

Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.

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: Water provision services fall short, either due to conflict or rundown systems, leaving people without water for weeks.?

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.?



The opening of a new frontline along the Abu QuraynTawergha-Misrata main road leads to displacement and protection violations, while threatening the livelihoods of the population of the three centres.

Although Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan Arab Armed Forces (LAAF) took the strategic coastal city of Sirte – 500km east of Tripoli – in Jan - uary, the military victory did not translate into further territorial gains towards Tripoli city. As of October 2020, Misrata remained under the control of the Government of National Accord with no major offensive taking place. Since March, however, there has been increased mobilisation of forces, air strikes, and exchange of indirect fire along the front lines near Abu Qurayn and Wash - kah, south of Mirsrata and west of Sirte. The use of drones by both sides has increased, with the LAAF targeting areas east of Tripoli and Misrata. Drones were used in heavy fighting which took place throughout March around Abu Qurayn (400km to the east of Tripoli), though both sides claimed victory.?

Serious casualties were reported by both sides. During March and April, there were new displacements because of an increase in armed conflicts in western Libya. Abu Qurayn was one area that witnessed new displacements as a result of the substantial deterioration of the security situation. Sirte district recorded 12,925 IDPs in March–April 2020. Sporadic attacks on Abu Qurayn village are taking place to this day. No major displacement movement was reported in Tawergha or Mis - rata. Overall civilian casualties have risen, increasing protection needs, as a result of the escalation in hostilities throughout the country since March, especially in western Libya.?

Read the latest October Risk Analysis here