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Libya map
UNICEF photo: Girls playing a game © UNICEF Libya/2018/Annahla Organization Children play a board game at a child-friendly space in Tripoli, Libya.


In 2019, UNICEF and partners plan for:

children (girls and boys) vaccinated against vaccinepreventable diseases


people provided with the minimum quantity of safe drinking water in line with international standards


children (girls and boys) receiving psychosocial support in schools or child-friendly spaces

2019 requirements: US$23,437,976

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Total people in need: 823,0007
Total children (<18) in need: 241,0008

Total people to be reached: 311,0009
Total children to be reached: 250,00010

Protracted conflict, political instability, deteriorating public services and the dysfunctional economy have affected nearly 1.6 million Libyans,1 with an estimated 823,000 people,2 including 241,000 girls and boys3 in need of humanitarian assistance. The majority of people in need are located in urban areas, mainly in the western and eastern regions of Libya, while tribal violence and armed groups continue to displace families and hinder humanitarian access in the south. Recent fighting around Tripoli has damaged critical water infrastructure. Roughly 97,000 internally displaced persons,4 including an estimated 40,000 Tawerghas living in makeshift camps across Libya, as well as 165,000 returnees, require assistance, including safe drinking water, sanitation facilities and access to health care, education and protection services. In conflict-affected areas, families returning to their homes and communities face risks due to unexploded ordnance contamination. A transit and destination country for economic and other temporary migrants, Libya is currently hosting an estimated 669,000 migrants, including more than 60,000 children, over 21,000 of whom are unaccompanied.5 Children are disproportionately affected by population movement, and are at risk due to violence, exploitation, trafficking, sexual and gender-based violence, recruitment by armed groups and unlawful detention.

Humanitarian strategy

2019 programme targets

Health and nutrition

  • 21,750 people receiving a minimum package of health services through fixed or mobile facilities
  • 5,500 children aged 6 to 59 months (girls and boys) who received emergency nutrition services, including screening, treatment, supplementation and referrals
  • 250,000 children (girls and boys) vaccinated against vaccine-preventable diseases


  • 60,000 people provided with the minimum quantity of safe drinking water in line with international standards
  • 20,000 people provided with improved access to sanitation facilities
  • 20,000 people and children provided with improved water and sanitation facilities in schools and health centres
  • 30,000 people who received essential hygiene items and critical WASH-related information

Child protection

  • 93,450 children (girls and boys) receiving psychosocial support in schools or child-friendly spaces
  • 4,000 children (girls and boys) supported with specialized child protection services


  • 64,000 school-aged children (boys and girls) accessing formal/non-formal education services
  • 80,000 school-aged children (girls and boys) provided with essential learning materials/school supplies11

In 2019, UNICEF will further strengthen its presence in the east and increase its footprint in the south to improve the provision of humanitarian assistance. UNICEF’s response will be carried out across sectors to reach the most vulnerable children, including children on the move, and address grave violations of children’s rights. UNICEF leads the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and education sectors and the child protection sub-sector and is supporting the scale up of the nutrition working group. Humanitarian assistance will be delivered in partnership with line ministries, municipalities, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). UNICEF is leading the establishment of an inter-agency Rapid Response Mechanism to respond to sudden-onset emergencies and deliver assistance in hard-to-reach areas. In addition to improving access to safe water and sanitation facilities and providing maternal and neonatal health and nutrition packages, UNICEF will establish community-based multi-sectoral centres that will provide child protection and educational services. UNICEF will also continue to strengthen health system preparedness for measles outbreaks by improving the Expanded Programme on Immunization. To address humanitarian access challenges, UNICEF will recruit staff to establish the hub in Benghazi (east) and utilize consultants and third-party monitoring to cover parts of the south.

Results from 2018

As of 31 October 2018, UNICEF had US$14.3 million available against the US$20.2 million appeal (71 per cent funded).6 In 2018, UNICEF worked with partners to respond to emergencies by strengthening the provision of WASH, health, child protection and education services for refugees, migrants, internally displaced persons and Libyans otherwise affected by humanitarian crisis. Despite the challenging operating environment and persistent insecurity, UNICEF and partners were able to reach affected populations with life-saving emergency assistance and expand access to services. The national vaccination campaign was successfully implemented, as were multiple emergency responses in Tripoli, Ghat, Sabratha, Derna, Tawergha and Bani Walid. However, difficulties accessing hard-to-reach areas in the east and south of Libya due to security constraints/arrangements continued to challenge the achievement of targets. In 2018, UNICEF also established a rapid response modality with a dedicated local partner (Shiek Taher Azzawi Charity Organization), as well as the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

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Funding requirements

In line with the country’s inter-agency Humanitarian Response Plan, UNICEF is requesting US$23.4 million to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of vulnerable children and their families in Libya in 2018. This includes US$12.5 million to provide life-saving support and protection services to refugee and migrant children in Libya. Funds are critically needed to deliver essential WASH, child protection and education services in hard-to-reach areas and to children on the move. The increased field presence inside Libya both in Tripoli and Benghazi will also require dedicated resources to ensure adequate support for security and operational measures.

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1 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘Libya: 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview’, OCHA, 2018.
2 Ibid.
3 Ibid.
4 Ibid.
5 International Organization for Migration Displacement Tracking Matrix, ‘Libya’s Migrant Report: Round 21 July-August 2018’, IOM Libya, 2018.
6 Available funds include US$8.9 million received against the current appeal year and US$5.4 million carried forward from the previous year.
7 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘Libya: 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan’, OCHA, 2018.
8 Ibid.
9 This figure includes the adult population in the highest coverage programme targets under the health and WASH response plus the highest coverage target of children’s vaccination against vaccine-preventable diseases.
10 This figure is based on the highest programme coverage target of children’s vaccination against vaccine-preventable diseases. This figure is higher than the overall number of children in need of humanitarian assistance as per the Libya 2019 Humanitarian Needs Overview because UNICEF covers a larger geographical area for vaccination.
11 This includes at-risk boys and girls (e.g., unaccompanied or separated children, children associated with armed groups, survivors of sexual violence) receiving focused care (e.g., psychological first aid, linking people with psychosocial problems to resources and services, psychological counselling, psychotherapy) and boys and girls affected by armed conflict receiving community reintegration services.
12 UNICEF requirements in the Humanitarian Action for Children appeal are higher than the 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan projections becauce UNICEF is targeting additional vulnerable populations from host communities. In addition, cross-sectoral support and coordination is included throughout the budget.