Humanitarian Action for Children
UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children appeal helps support the agency’s work as it
provides conflict- and disaster-affected children with access to water, sanitation, nutrition,
education, health and protection services. Return to main appeal page.
- Libya faces a complex and protracted humanitarian crisis resulting from armed conflict, political and economic challenges, and the impact of COVID-19. Currently, 803,574 people, including 321,430 children, require humanitarian assistance. Children and families are experiencing a rapid deterioration in public services – particularly education and health services – higher food and fuel prices, loss of shelter and livelihoods, and significant protection challenges. Further destabilization of political dynamics might threaten the ceasefire agreement and the government's viability, risking resumption of the conflict.
- UNICEF will work with government counterparts, civil society organizations and the private sector to realize its humanitarian, development and peacebuilding strategy, while maintaining capacity for a rapid response at the onset of emergencies.
- UNICEF will enhance child-centered risk analysis as the foundation for greater risk-informed programing in order to reduce impact of crises and increase coherence with long-term programming. UNICEF will promote accountability to affected populations, localized response and strengthening national systems.
- UNICEF and partners require US$55.4 million to undertake essential humanitarian intervention, including emergency preparedness.
Key planned results for 2022
40,000 primary caregivers receiving infant and young child feeding counselling
120,000 children and women accessing health care
58,800 people accessing a sufficient quantity of safe water
269,253 children / caregivers accessing mental health and psychosocial support
Funding requirements for 2022
Country needs and strategy
Following almost two years of acute armed conflict, 2021 saw a welcome period of relative peace and political stability. Although acute needs reduced over the past year thanks to progress in the peace process and economic interventions from the Central Bank, household vulnerability remains high, particularly for displaced families, returnees, migrants and refugees.
As of June 2021, 223,000 displaced persons and over 643,000 returnees required humanitarian assistance, including access to safe drinking water, sanitation, basic health care, education and protection services. In areas that experienced armed conflict, families are still vulnerable to explosive hazards. Overall, some 803,000 people need health and nutrition assistance; 381,000 need safe water, sanitation and hygiene; 271,000 children need protection; and 171,000 children need access to schooling. The looming crisis of acute water scarcity is an increasing priority for UNICEF.
Libya remains both a destination and major transit center for migrants and refugees. As of June 2021, there were nearly 598,000 migrants and refugees in Libya, 10 per cent of which are children (2 per cent of whom are unaccompanied). Migrants and refugees are exceptionally vulnerable, given their migration status and significant protection risks, including gender based violence, and lack of access to social services.
Continued political instability due to the lack of agreement between the various stakeholders on a unified political solution has weakened state institutions and damaged the economy. Children and families continue to suffer from critical deterioration in public services, higher food and fuel prices, loss of livelihoods, and serious protection challenges. The conflict has left homes and infrastructure across the country severely damaged, including schools and health facilities. Immunization services have been disrupted in some locations, and critical gaps in medical supplies and staffing have also been reported. Women, boys and girls are disproportionately affected by gaps in protection services and are at high risk of violence, exploitation, trafficking, gender-based violence and unlawful detention.
Morbidity and mortality rates related to COVID-19 have been steadily rising across Libya, with over 334,000 confirmed cases and nearly 4,600 deaths. There is an acute shortage of tests, laboratory capacities are limited, and water and electricity shortages have undermined basic hygiene practices.
In 2022, UNICEF’s humanitarian strategy in Libya will focus on ensuring that no child is left behind, regardless of nationality, migration status or geographic location. Enhancing linkages between humanitarian and development action, UNICEF will strengthen the capacity of national actors to provide risk-informed, inclusive basic service delivery, including in emergency situations, in line with Grand Bargain commitments. UNICEF will provide assistance where there are gaps in basic service delivery. UNICEF leads the WASH and education sectors and the child protection sub-sector and supports the nutrition working group. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF is spearheading the risk communication and community engagement and infection prevention and control inter-agency coordination mechanisms. Humanitarian assistance will be delivered in partnership with line ministries, municipalities, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.
UNICEF will facilitate access to sustainable safe water services and improved wastewater and sanitation services, including in schools and health facilities; provide health and nutrition supplies, equipment and training to healthcare staff; support the operation of community centers; and provide child protection and educational services. The health system will be strengthened to better prepare for future disease outbreaks.
Integrated, inter-sector programming will be central to the humanitarian response. Education, child protection and health responses will use integrated approaches and target key geographic locations, such as detention centers and areas of displacement. UNICEF in Libya will work to improve safety and accessibility by mitigating gender-based violence risks, including protection from sexual exploitation and abuse.
The COVID-19 strategy will focus on: (1) strengthening risk communication and community engagement; (2) improving infection prevention and control and providing critical medical and WASH supplies; (3) contributing to evidence-based decision-making; and (4) supporting access to continuous education, social protection (support to inclusive national subsidies and cash assistance), child protection and gender-based violence services.
In its support to service delivery, UNICEF will focus on the most vulnerable groups, including displaced persons, migrants and refugees. UNICEF will continue to expand programming through its Benghazi field office and increase its footprint in the south to ensure access to humanitarian assistance.
UNICEF will continue to work with sister United Nations agencies to deliver immediate life-saving supplies to families through the Rapid Response Mechanism, particularly in hard-to-reach areas. Essential emergency goods will be pre-positioned to ensure a rapid response to emergency situations. UNICEF will build on its partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to support and protect refugee children.
Humanitarian Action is at the core of UNICEF’s mandate to realize the rights of every child. This edition of Humanitarian Action for Children – UNICEF’s annual humanitarian fundraising appeal – describes the ongoing crises affecting children in Libya; the strategies that we are using to respond to these situations; and the donor support that is essential in this response.