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.
- The protracted political crisis and past conflict in Libya have had a significant impact on public services, particularly health, social protection and education services. UNICEF estimates that nearly 526,000 people (including nearly 200,000 children) require humanitarian assistance in 2023, with children on the move being the most vulnerable.
- 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.
- In 2023, UNICEF and partners require US$28.6 million to undertake essential humanitarian interventions, with critical funding needs in the child protection, social protection, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and education sectors.
Key planned results for 2023
172,204 children/caregivers accessing community-based mental health and psychosocial support
93,088 children accessing formal or non-formal education, including early learning
50,000 people accessing a sufficient quantity and quality of water
3,000 households reached with UNICEF-funded humanitarian cash transfers
Funding requirements for 2023
Country needs and strategy
Despite the optimism generated by the success of the peace process in 2020, and the formation of the Government of Libyan National Unity in 2021, Libya continues to face a fragile security situation and uncertain political landscape, which have heightened the risk of violence in the country. The protracted and complex humanitarian crisis in Libya is marked by armed hostilities, political fragmentation, economic challenges and the effects of climate change, all of which threaten the lives and well-being of the population. The Libyan economy has suffered significantly from a decade of violent conflict, and estimated gross domestic product per capita in 2021 was about half that of 2010. The war in Ukraine, by creating shortages and increasing food prices, has the potential to worsen food security in Libya. At the same time, confrontations among armed groups, global economic challenges and human rights violations persist throughout the country.
UNICEF estimates that nearly 526,000 people, including nearly 200,000 children, require humanitarian aid. The situation is particularly dire for those who have been forcibly evicted; for families with adults or children with disabilities or chronic diseases; for female-headed households; and for those whose coping capacities have been overstretched due to prolongeddisplacement. Out of the total number of people in need, nearly 247,400 people lack access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene services; more than 175,800 children are in need of immediate protection; and nearly 111,400 children will lose access to learning opportunities without humanitarian assistance.
Despite conflict and instability, Libya remains a both a destination and a route to Europe for asylum-seekers and migrants. Libya hosts approximately 650,000 migrants and refugees, among them 78,000 children. In addition, the country is home to approximately 160,000 internally displaced people. Benghazi, Misrata, Tripoli and Sirt host the largest migrant/refugee populations in the country. In the absence of effective border control, refugees and migrants, especially women and children coming from mixed migration flows, are exposed to various harms and protection risks created by smuggling networks and other criminal activities. Considering this situation, migrants and refugees, settled or in transit, make up one of the most vulnerable population groups in the country and face specific humanitarian and protection challenges (e.g., dire detention conditions, family separations and other hardships).
In Libya, UNICEF’s priority is to provide immediate life-saving assistance to the most vulnerable people, including internally displaced people and refugees and migrants, settled or in transit, with a special focus on the needs of women and children. UNICEF’s humanitarian strategy is aligned with national priorities as identified in the country programme document, the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework and other inter-agency initiatives. Guided by the Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action, as well as Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus and Grand Bargain commitments, UNICEF supports building resilience and reducing vulnerabilities in Libya, as well as the country's humanitarian transition. UNICEF works to ensure that all children in Libya, regardless of their nationality, legal status and place of residence, have access to life-saving assistance.
UNICEF prioritizes localization of the humanitarian response by promoting partnerships with local actors and building their capacities to provide quality, equitable and gender-informed humanitarian assistance. UNICEF collaborates with line ministries, municipalities, non-governmental organizations and private sector actors and engages communities, especially youth and adolescents, in its humanitarian operations. UNICEF participates in inter-agency coordination mechanisms by leading the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and education sectors and the child protection subsector, and also supports the nutrition working group. Additionally, UNICEF works with 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 are pre-positioned to ensure a rapid response to emergency situations.
UNICEF will facilitate access to sustainable safe water services and improved wastewater and sanitation services, including in schools, health facilities and detention centres. Beyond supporting delivery of immediate humanitarian assistance by providing health and nutrition supplies and equipment, UNICEF also will build capacities of health systems and health-care workers to ensure continued delivery of essential health services, with a special focus on the needs of children, including newborns and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers. As a result of UNICEF’s interventions, the national health system will be more prepared for future disease outbreaks and health emergencies. UNICEF will continue to support the operations of community centres and the provision of child protection and educational services. Cross-sectoral and integrated programming will be central to UNICEF’s humanitarian response. Integrated health and education interventions will target key vulnerable/neglected populations and host community members. Child protection interventions will focus on building risk-informed systems, through finalized inter-agency standard operating procedures, for case management systems covering Libyans and non-Libyans.
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.