Foreign Minister Maas on the increase in emergency aid for refugees and migrants in Libya

19.07.2019 - Press release

Foreign Minister Maas issued the following statement today (19 July) on the increase in humanitarian assistance for refugees and migrants in Libya:

The situation of refugees and migrants in Libya, especially in the so‑called detention centres, is completely unacceptable. Immediate measures have to be taken to improve conditions. In particular, we intend to support the UNHCR. People on the ground urgently need adequate care and accommodation fit for human habitation. Above all, however, they need to feel safe. The especially vulnerable among them therefore have to be evacuated as quickly as possible.

We have thus increased our contribution to UNHCR for Libya once more by two million euros to a total of five million euros. By providing these resources, we are fulfilling a humanitarian duty. It is also intended to help ensure that people do not embark on the perilous journey across the Mediterranean out of sheer need and desperation.

Background information:

Since April 2019, more than 100,000 people have been driven out of their homes due to the ongoing fighting. Germany is therefore increasing its contribution to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) by 500,000 euros to a total of 1.5 million euros as emergency aid for internally displaced persons.

The humanitarian situation in Libya has steadily deteriorated since April 2019 as a result of ongoing hostilities. More than 1000 people have been killed and more than 100,000 people have had to leave their homes or neighbourhoods.

The around 5600 refugees and migrants who are still being held in so‑called detention centres, in some cases in terrible conditions, have been especially badly affected. According to UNHCR, 3800 persons are in detention centres close to fighting.

In 2019, Germany has provided a total of more than nine million euros in humanitarian assistance in Libya, of which UNHCR has received five million for assistance and protection measures for refugees and migrants. Since 2015 Germany has provided a total of 56 million euros in humanitarian assistance in Libya.

Together with the EU, Germany is also supporting the voluntary return of migrants from Libya and their reintegration into their countries of origin organised by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).


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