After more than forty years in power, the revolution of 2011 put an end to Mouammar Gaddafi’s reign. Libya has been ever since confronted to a challenging political instability due to the state breakup. Since 2014, a new civil war has been underway. In this context, the country is divided between different military and political forces. This instability has a strong impact on the Libyan population’s living conditions. It reduces day after day its access to essential services.
In 2019, thousands of persons remain displaced in camps across the country while some went back to their household. These persons, displaced or “returnees”, are facing a high level of vulnerability.
Simultaneously, numerous refugees, asylum seekers and migrants fleeing authoritarian regimes or poverty are passing through Libya. Some of them are into the hands of human traffickers before risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean Sea.
Recurrent armed conflicts, political instability and economic collapse have led to a complex humanitarian crisis. The United Nations estimate 823,000 persons are going to need humanitarian assistance this year in Libya .
 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview, OCHA
Description of the mission
After eight years of crisis and instability, access to essential services remains largely limited, in particular for the most vulnerable persons. Première Urgence Internationale has identified an extremely concerning situation in terms of psychosocial disorders and access to healthcare. To a great extent, the former is due to the persisting conflict and the dysfunction of basic services. The latter is explained by infrastructure destructions, breaks in drug supplies and a shortage of medical material and qualified human resources.
In this context, Première Urgence Internationale intervenes for the improvement of both Libyan and migrant populations’ living conditions. Refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in general are, indeed, caught in a vice. On one hand, being victims of discriminations, they face difficulties to access essential services. On the other hand, they are compelled to live hidden from human traffickers.
Since the Libyan mission implementation in 2017, Première Urgence Internationale has been developing access to primary healthcare and psychosocial assistance in Benghazi and its surroundings.
Premiere Urgence Internationale in action
In the framework of quick impact projects, our teams have led the restoration of three healthcare centers as well as the refurbishment of the import control Agency and of the Al Jala hospital’s emergency service.
In addition, our five mobile clinics have been providing primary healthcare activities in the region of Benghazi. They provide free support for primary, maternal and child healthcare, chronic disease treatment and access to psychosocial support. We have also led healthcare activities in migrant detention camps located in eastern Libya.
This year, in partnership with other organizations, we will launch a two-year project whose objective is to improve Libyan healthcare authorities’ capacities to treat chronic diseases, specifically in terms of personnel training and disease prevention.
Besides, Première Urgence Internationale has extended its intervention to the water, hygiene and sanitation sector. First, by restoring a pumping station in a district of Benghazi. Our teams also organize regular distributions of hygiene kits to families living in camps and precarious accommodations.
Furthermore, in 2018, we conducted an exploratory mission in the Al Kufra region (south-east Libya) in order to identify the specific needs of this isolated area and develop an adapted humanitarian response.
COVID-19: In Libya, Première Urgence Internationale maintains its health activities
Libya recorded its first case of COVID-19 on March 24, 2020, since then there are 4,063 confirmed cases and 93 deaths (according to the National Centre for Disease Control – NCDC – data as of August 4, 2020). Since the start of the pandemic, the Première Urgence Internationale teams have decided to maintain their health activities to meet the needs of the vulnerable population and to include a COVID-19 component to limit the spread of the virus in the two areas of Benghazi and Al Kufra where the NGO operates.
Indeed, the already fragile health system before the outbreak of COVID-19, fears a real threat for the country, in case the virus will spread throughout the country.
LIBYA: NEW ACTIVITIES IN PRIMARY HEALTH CARE TO ALKUFRA
Première Urgence Internationale initiated operations in Libya back in 2017. Since last December with the support of DG ECHO, the NGO has expanded its medical activities in the south-eastern area of Alkufra, a remote area located at the border with Egypt, Sudan and Chad. Since the civil war in 2014, the Libya’s healthcare system of this country of 6 million inhabitants has been affected.