Despite the political dialogues in several countries and concluding many agreements that provides for a ceasefire in Libya, the crisis of displaced people continues. Libyan authorities do not know much about them, they do not know their real numbers or places of presence. The displaced are completely neglected and left to face their misery.
Hundreds of families are suffering the impacts of displacement, although the war has stopped.
On this issue, the UN announced this month that the phenomenon of displaced people still exists, although the number of IDPs decreased from 426,000 persons in last June to 392,000 persons now.
This number is not really accurate, it could be much more, given that thousands live in neighboring countries. The situation of the displaced out of Libya is much better than that of the internal displaced people.
Lack of Privacy has become a lifestyle
Although political agreements allowed a number of displaced people to rebuild their homes, the majority of them are still waiting for the conclusion of tribal agreements that allow them to return to their homes.
Families’ homes are constantly searched and they undergo investigations on the reasons of displacement, which create a state of instability for children.
Among the most significant factors that affect children is the constant moving to live in different areas, where the traditions of each are different.
The GNA has estimated the number of displaced people, having fled the war to nearly 130,000. Although the war stopped and moved to other regions, the Minister of State for Displaced Affairs in the GNA, Yousef Jalala, confirmed in press statements at the beginning of this month that only 25% of Tripoli’s IDPs have returned to their homes.
The displacement phenomenon still exists in the country because of the continuous tension and military escalation. Moving the fighting fronts to Sirte and Al-Jabrah outskirts has forced families to flee their homes. Moreover, the tension hotbeds in southern Libya still force families to flee due to the continuous tribes clashes.
NGOs and charities
Despite the government efforts confirmed by the announcements of both the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Displaced Affairs, the real efforts to address this crisis are carried out by NGOs and charities.
NGOs are addressing displaced people’s conditions, and this is not the first time. The wars that forced the people to flee from the south, the east, and from Tripoli many times, have provided the NGOs with experience in aiding the displaced. To compensate the governmental absence and deficit, the scouting movement in Libya for example has exerted great efforts in the displaced people crisis to compensate the gap caused by the governmental deficit.
The movement has launched the “psychosocial support” program for displaced people in an effort to mitigate their trauma and suffering. On its social media pages, it has announced the launching of entertainment programs and activities within the shelter centers, in addition to plans for launching other children’s programs.
The poor conditions of the displaced are one of the greatest motives for reconciliation and ending the conflict in the country. The political division has an impact on the displaced people, not only because it is the main reason for their displacement, but also because it has huge impact on the efficiency of humanitarian efforts and on relief organization during implementing their work. In addition, many families are unable to return to their homes because the conflicting parties do not keep the people away from the political and military conflict, which greatly hinders the international and humanitarian efforts to aid people.
Among the prominent obstacles is confiscating some relief convoys, and this is alongside the inability of international humanitarian organizations to work all over Libya. Some organizations refuse to work in Libya until a single, easily accessible government is formed. Some other local organizations were unable to reach areas not controlled by the government. Due to the political divisions, the efforts of the Ministry of Social Affairs were distracted, and this is apart from the deterioration of the Libyan economy and the lack of sufficient budgets to provide aid from government organizations.
Due to the financial deficiency, the displaced people are not able to get their basic needs, such as the rents or medical treatment. Many of them are not getting any salaries because they are not able to go to their work in their areas due to differences with the parties controlling the political and security affairs there.
Displaced People are more Vulnerable to Covid 19
The UNHCR has declared that more than 425,000 Libyans are internally displaced due to the conflict. It said it supports the IDPs financially, with basic relief materials and establishing small projects for them.
Hundreds of thousands of Libyans are in danger of getting infected by Covid 19, due to the fragile health system in the country. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) fears that the virus will spread increasingly between the IDPs who suffer to secure their basic needs including shelters, food and water in addition to medical care. Great numbers of Libyans are getting infected by the virus because they lack information about the virus and medical care.