Al Marj has had to close its schools to accommodate people unable to stay with host families. Al Bayda and Tobruk are also straining to house the rising tide of displaced people seeking shelter there (from Derna as well as Benghazi). Schools in Tobruk will also be closed so they can host the displaced people.
Of particular concern to UNHCR is the situation of some 2,500 Tawerghans who fled their camp in Benghazi in mid-October, and are now staying in parks, schools and parking lots in Ajdabiya and neighbouring towns, with only thin plastic sheets and some tents for cover.
Winds and rains over the coming winter months will be hardest on women, children and the elderly who lack warm clothes, heaters and insulated tents and shelters.
Cross border aid convoys are the only way to get in supplies. While UNHCR and its partners have delivered aid to some 19,000 displaced people through cross-border convoys in August and September, we face constraints with funding and access.
UNHCR is also concerned about the welfare of some 14,000 of the 37,000 registered refugees and asylum-seekers (almost half from Syria) in Libya stranded in conflict zones or unable to provide food for themselves and their families. During times of conflict, refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants are often viewed with suspicion and suffer from animosity towards all foreigners.
With no alternatives, many have irregularly departed by boats to Europe. So far this year, more than 156,000 have arrived in Italy – over 85 per cent departing from Libya.