"The main areas of concern in Benghazi relate to the collapse of the health sector, the closure of more than 60 schools as well as universities, criminality stemming from the absence of rule of law, and frequent reports of civilian casualties as a result of fighting in the coastal city," Fleming added. She stressed that landmines and unexploded ordinance were an additional hazard.
Conflict in Libya has also undermined the security of civilians and prevented the safe return of IDPs in Misrata, Tripoli, Warshafana and the Nafusa Mountains in the west, and Awbari in the south. IDPs and host communities in these areas have also been equally affected by diminishing access to education, affordable health care, electricity and other key services.
Living conditions for IDPs vary from area to area, but remain tough for many, particularly in the south. IDPs are staying in shelter ranging from rented accommodation to schools, factories and empty buildings. In the southern desert border town of Ghat some IDP families live in empty water tanks.
"Despite the mounting challenges, we have, through partners on the ground, distributed non-food items to more than 10,000 IDPs in Misrata since May. The distribution initially targeted newly displaced populations and vulnerable groups. This represents more than half of the IDP population in Misrata of some 17,000," Fleming emphasised.
UNHCR said other partners were distributing food and relief items to IDPs in Zintan and the Nafusa Mountains area (70,000), Warshafana (30,000), Zawiyah (20,000) and various locations around Tripoli (more than 30,000).
In Libya, UNHCR is also providing medical assistance to refugees and asylum-seekers in urban areas and financial support to the most vulnerable in Tripoli and Benghazi where there are almost 28,000 registered refuges and some 8,900 asylum-seekers. It is also helping people of concern being held in detention centres.
(Refugee image via Shutterstock)