Libya: What the ICRC did in 2013

31-03-2014 Facts and Figures

Supporting the Libyan Red Crescent Society (LRCS)


  • conducted 5 first-aid training sessions for 103 LRCS volunteers;
  • helped the LRCS establish a permanent presence in Tripoli through a liaison office, bringing the National Society closer to humanitarian agencies, international organizations and embassies;
  • provided financial and technical support for repairs to the roof of the LRCS branch in Ajdabya;
  • covered the expenses of 2 LRCS representatives so they could attend the Council of Delegates meeting in Sydney, Australia in November 2013.

Detainee welfare


  • visited 13,622 detainees during 81 visits to 41 places of detention, the detainees including 621 women, 92 minors and 5,686 migrants in 14 retention centres under the authority of the Department for Combating Illegal Migration;
  • registered and monitored 280 detainees individually;
  • enabled detainees to contact their families via the ICRC's family-links services during these visits;
  • enabled foreign detainees to inform their consular representatives of their situation;
  • supplied 2,500 detainees and 3,300 migrants with essential items including blankets, mattresses, buckets, hygiene kits, T-shirts, prayer rugs, games, socks, track suits, underwear, slippers, cleaning materials, clothes and nappies;
  • helped 4 places of detention improve their sewage systems and water networks, benefitting approximately 2,100 detainees;
  • conducted scabies-control campaigns and provided medicines and clothing at 2 centres for migrants in Sabha, 1 in Zliten and 1 in Al-Gharyan;
  • donated 4 dressing material sets to 2 places of detention in Tripoli.

Restoring family links and clarifying the fate of missing persons


  • received tracing requests from 1,307 people;
  • enabled detainees and their families to exchange over 200 Red Cross messages;
  • opened 252 new missing persons cases;
  • facilitated 2,989 phone calls for detainees and migrants, enabling detainees (including those held in Guantanamo) to contact their families in Libya or abroad;
  • notified embassies of the whereabouts of 1,507 foreign detainees at the detainees’ request;
  • provided support and advice to the Ministry of the Affairs of the Families of Martyrs and Missing (MAFMM) on restoring family links, the management of personal data and mechanisms for handling missing persons cases.

Forensic activities


  • assessed the mass grave at Bir al-Usta Milad in January 2013 at the request of the MAFMM and provided recommendations regarding both the recovery of remains and post-mortem examination facilities;
  • visited the MAFMM sample collection centres in Sabha and Bani Walid in order to provide technical recommendations on sampling procedures;
  • acted as a neutral and independent observer at the examination of 22 bodies that were alleged to be of people from Bani Walid, at the request of families from the city and the minister of justice, subsequently submitting a report to the minister.

Health care


  • trained 269 persons in first aid (including LRCS volunteers, nurses, scouts, police officers, emergency medical service providers and civil defence personnel), covering such topics as management of the wounded, bleeding, burns, coordination and triage;
  • made 9 donations of emergency medical supplies for the treatment of casualties to Tajura Cardiac Centre in Tripoli, the Benghazi Medical Centre and Al-Jala’ Hospital in Benghazi;
  • made 28 donations of medical items, medical sets and vaccines to clinics and hospitals;
  • provided medical supplies and vaccines to 21 clinics and hospitals, including Mitiga Hospital and Al-Khadrah Hospital in Tripoli, Al-Kufrah Medical Centre, Sabha Medical Centre and Obari Hospital in the Sabha region;
  • held 3 emergency room trauma courses for 55 doctors in Sabha and Tripoli, in conjunction with the Ministry of Health;
  • held training sessions on treating casualties of armed violence for 90 Libyan surgeons and other doctors in Benghazi;
  • donated dressing materials and gloves to Al-Gharyan Hospital, Guntrar Polyclinic in Mizdah and Al-Jmayyil Hospital during clashes in the Nafusa Mountains and the western region;
  • provided emergency medical supplies for LRCS branches in Tripoli and Benghazi so that they could treat people injured during clashes in the two cities;
  • provided the LRCS Derna Branch with 4 dressing material sets in December, following clashes in the city;
  • signed an agreement with the University of Tripoli to launch a Bachelor of Science programme in Prosthetics and Orthotics;
  • worked with the University of Misrata to set up a prosthetic/orthotic workshop, with the ICRC providing technical support and expertise during the setup phase and assigning 2 ICRC prosthetic/orthotic technicians to carry out training and production.

Weapon contamination

Fewer civilians were affected by explosive remnants of war (ERW) in 2013, but Libya is still contaminated by these devices. The LRCS and the ICRC regularly collect data on ERW-related accidents.

ICRC/LRCS risk-education/awareness-raising programmes contributed to a decrease in ERW-related casualties. The ICRC trained over 180 volunteers from 18 LRCS branches, who are now raising public awareness on the issue.

Assistance to internally displaced persons and vulnerable communities


  • worked with the LRCS and the Libyan Humanitarian Relief Agency (LibAid) to provide emergency food supplies to 124,636 internally displaced persons;
  • provided essential household items such as kitchen sets, water containers, blankets, mattresses, tarpaulins and hygiene parcels for some 10,500 displaced persons and host families in the towns of Tiji, Garzat, Nalut, Nismah, and Shgeiga in the Nafusa Mountains;
  • worked with the LRCS to distribute emergency aid in Nismah and Garyat to more than 7,200 people displaced by clashes in Mizdah.

Providing clean drinking water and improving sanitation


  • provided 34,700 people in Al-Abyar, Benghazi, Al Beida and Al-Kufrah with emergency water and sanitation supplies;
  • improved access to clean drinking water and assisted the sanitation authorities, benefiting 20,000 people in Temminah, near Misrata, and over 600 people in Benghazi;
  • carried out improvements to the water distribution system in a Tripoli camp, giving 1,700 displaced persons access to clean water;
  • ensured access to clean water for over 1,400 IDPs in three other camps in Tripoli and Benghazi;
  • improved the water distribution system in a Benghazi IDP camp, bringing clean water to another 1,700 displaced persons;
  • supported a health clinic in Zliten that provides physical therapy services to approximately 165 people per day.

Promotion of international humanitarian law


  • held 6 one-week international humanitarian law (IHL) courses for officers of the Libyan Army as part of a 2012 agreement with the Libyan Armed Forces, training nearly 200 senior officers on the basic rules of IHL, a number of whom were selected by the Ministry of Defence and the ICRC to be trained as trainers;
  • trained 32 officers as IHL trainers for the Libyan Armed Forces during 2 courses in Al-Bayda, eastern Libya;
  • enabled 5 senior officers from the army and members of the IHL/international human rights law office at the Ministry of Defence to enhance their IHL expertise by attending a course at the Internatoinal Institute of Humanitarian Law in San Remo, Italy;
  • trained 150 officers from Misrata, Ghariyan and Tripoli during one-week IHL training sessions;
  • helped the Ministry of Defence draft an IHL training manual for the Libyan Army;
  • held sessions on IHL for revolutionary brigades, members of civil society, and religious and other community leaders in Tripoli, Benghazi and the Nafusa Mountains, covering ICRC activities in Libya and elsewhere, its mandate, and the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement;
  • held IHL training sessions in cooperation with the Arab League in Beirut, attended by 3 people from Libyan ministries and 2 from academic circles in Tripoli and Benghazi;
  • held discussions with the Judicial Police and the Police Training Institute on the incorporation of IHL/international human rights law into police training.

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