• 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 [?]
  • 6,871,000 People affected [?]
  • 1,571,000 People displaced [?]
  • 703 Fatalities reported [?]
  • 1,043,000 People in Need [?]



Libya has been in a civil war since 2011 following the Arab spring uprising, with full-scale armed clashes between supporters of former leader Muammar Gaddafi and opposing armed groups. The conflict has caused a significant loss of life and displacements; estimates from the Government suggest that between March–October 2011, 10,000–30,000 civilians and fighters were killed, and many more were injured. The conflict has resulted in political instability, protracted violence, and the emergence of various armed groups looking to control the country, as well as damage to critical infrastructure and severe disruptions to the country's oil production.?

That said, the situation has been steadily improving since the implementation of the October 2020 ceasefire agreement, which has allowed for more security and the return of many displaced people. As at August 2022, the number of IDPs had reached 134,000, down from 316,000 in October 2020. The number of returnees has also been increasing, as well as their needs for housing, livelihoods, healthcare, and education services. Political instability and delays in the parliamentary and presidential elections originally scheduled for 24 December 2021 continue to risk a re-escalation of armed clashes between rival political groups that support rival governments. These rival governments include, on one side, the UN-recognised government led by Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah and, on the other, the one led by Prime Minister Fathi Bashagha, which represents the Government of National Stability that is backed by the military commander Khalifa Haftar.?

Libya is also a transit country for migrants and asylum seekers, mostly Sub-Saharan Africans aiming to reach Europe. There were more than 683,000 migrants in an irregular situation in Libya as at October 2022. The lack of a legal status and, for many, the lack of recognition of their refugee status expose migrants to severe protection violations, especially in the official and unofficial detention centres across the country. The access of humanitarian organisations to official and unofficial detention centres remains highly limited. Migrants face or are exposed to human trafficking, sexual and gender-based violence, and family separation, and they are in need of protection, healthcare, accommodation, NFI, and WASH services in Libya.?

INFORM measures Libya's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster to be high at 6.2/10.?

Latest Developments


Between 21–27 May 2023, around 720 migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers attempting to cross the Mediterranean from Libya were returned to the restive state. As at 27 May, the total number of migrants returned to Libya within 2023 was approximately 5,700. More people have died while attempting the crossing, with 640 deaths in 2023 as at 27 May compared to 529 from January–December 2022 and 662 from January–December 2021. Migrants and asylum seekers returned to detention centres in Libya face exploitation, abuse, and sexual violence. At least half of migrant women have reported experiencing sexual violence while being transferred between detention centres by security forces. As at December 2022, there were more than 690,000 migrants and asylum seekers in Libya. The protection needs of migrants remain high.?

Humanitarian Access


VERY HIGH constraints

Libya has an overall score of 4.00 on the Humanitarian Access Index.

While the situation in Libya has largely remained the same during the past six months, humanitarian access has deteriorated. Different authorities continue to arbitrarily arrest migrants with and irregular status, holding them in official and unofficial detention centres that lack services. Different authorities or armed forces often do not allow humanitarian organisations to access detention centres, making it very difficult to gather information on the conditions, needs, and numbers of migrants in both official and non-official detention centres. Because these migrants lack documentation, it is challenging for them to access services (including legal services), assistance, and overall aid.

Bureaucratic and administrative restrictions continue to challenge the access of humanitarian responders to the affected population across Libya. The registration process for humanitarian organisations is complicated and time-consuming, with recently reported increased scrutiny on activities hindering humanitarian operations. Despite an improvement in the issuance of visas for aid workers between January–June, there was a reported lack of clarity regarding the process and needed time to renew visas. Entry permits allowing humanitarian staff to operate across the country are valid for only short periods and require constant renewal. Financial constraints have also been reported. There are limits on the amounts of cash humanitarian organisations can withdraw from certain banks, and they need authorisations from intermediary banks for international transfers, resulting in shortages of money required to run humanitarian operations.

For more information you can consult our latest Global Humanitarian Access Overview – July 2022.  


Key Priorities


Health: Over 800,000 people are estimated to be in need of health assistance in 2022. The health system is struggling to provide essential healthcare (including vaccinations) and COVID-19 treatment amid staff and medicine shortages. Health facilities and medical personnel have been the object of attacks during over 10 years of conflict. In 2021, about 90% of primary healthcare centres remained closed, and only six out of 227 assessed health facilities in southern Libya had adequate levels of electricity.? 

Food security: Over 511,000 people were estimated to be food-insecure and in need of food assistance in 2021, including over 120,000 migrants and refugees. The instable security situation, the economic crisis, and COVID-19 containment measures hinder people’s ability to access livelihoods opportunities and meet their food needs.? 

Protection: Over 350,000 people are estimated to be in need of protection assistance in 2022, mainly in the Benghazi, Misrata, Sebha, and Tripoli regions. The presence of unexploded explosive ordnance is a major concern for civilians living in and returnees willing to return to contaminated areas. Arbitrary detention is a major protection risk faced by refugees, migrants, and asylum seekers, including children. Libya did not sign the 1951 Refugee Convention, and there is no law on the status and treatment of refugees and asylum seekers. Refugees are seen as illegal migrants and face detention based on national legislation. ? 

Shelter and NFIs: About 397,000 people are estimated to be in need of shelter and NFI assistance in 2022. Returnees often find their houses destroyed or damaged and are unable to afford reconstruction costs. NFI is one of the three priority needs for returnees. Thousands of IDPs are living in inadequate housing. Shelter is the priority need for the IDP population.? 

WASH: Over 380,000 people are estimated to need access to safe WASH services. Attacks on water systems, power cuts, and lack of repair items have led to a significant decline in WASH services, particularly since 2020. This puts pressure on families to secure water for drinking and day use. About 40% of garbage and solid waste is kept on the street or buried, leading to higher risks of diseases such as respiratory illnesses and waterborne diseases.? 

Education: Over 171,000 people are estimated to be in need of education assistance in 2022. The education system has been affected by years of conflict and worsened by pandemic-related school closures. There are also remote learning barriers, such as electricity and internet cuts. About 74% of schools do not have appropriate safe drinking water, and 35% lack gender-segregated toilets. Attacks on education centres resulted in over 245 schools partially damaged or fully destroyed. ?