Contribution to the IOM COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan for Libya 2021
The Preparedness and Response Plan of IOM Libya aims to contribute to the government of Libya and national health partners preparedness and response efforts for COVID-19 to reduce associated morbidity and mortality and prepare for and address the crosscutting humanitarian needs of migrants impacted by COVID-19.
Outcome 1: Migrants and other vulnerable populations have improved access to overall health services, including COVID-19 services, to protect against disease spread;
Output 1.1: Increased access of vulnerable populations to basic items for prevention of communicable diseases;
Output 1.2: Enhance the capacity of authorities working in detention centres and Points of Entry to prevent and respond to COVID-19 transmission and outbreaks;
Outcome 2: Libyan authorities have enhanced their ability to coordinate and promote equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines in Libya, including amongst most vulnerable mobile populations;
Output 2.1: Contribute data on mobile populations to Libyan authorities to inform development of a microplan for all government administrative levels to guide the vaccination campaign;
Output 2.2: Libyan authorities increase their capacity to implement a COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
With the Austrian contribution of EUR 1,000,000 the IOM will be able to reach following results for a total 3,650 beneficiaries:
• Migrants, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and other mobile and vulnerable groups are well integrated into the national COVID-19 vaccination Campaign;
• 1,500 migrants in detention centres have access to clean water and protective items to protect themselves from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases;
• Authorities in 6 detention centres are equipped to respond to COVID-19 outbreaks with the provision of personal protective equipment (PPEs) and technical equipment, protect themselves and detained persons from COVID-19 Transmission;
• Authorities in six Points of Entry are equipped with PPEs and technical equipment, to protect themselves and travelers from COVID-19 transmission.
Activities may include, among others:
- Provide protective items including hygiene kits, sanitizers, soaps, gloves and masks to migrants in detention to reduce the risk of transmission;
- Provide PPEs and equipment to detention authorities of up to six detention centres to prevent and respond to COVID19 transmission and outbreaks;
- Provide PPEs to authorities of up to six Points of Entry, to protect themselves and travellers from COVID19 Transmission;
- Provide technical support to strengthen health surveillance activities at Point of Entry;
- Conduct an assessment to provide data and analysis on migrant and refugee populations to inform vaccination campaign planning and implementation;
- Provide technical support to the three taskforces responsible for cold chain/vaccine logistic management, capacity building and the demand creation;
- Identify and target migrant-dense localities in east, west and south Libya, and deliver trainings on vaccination campaign implementation to MoH and NCDC health workers and administration staff who are responsible for administering the vaccines to project beneficiaries;
- Provide Libyan authorities with cold chain equipment to support vaccination campaign implementation.
COVID-19 continues to aggravate the already complicated situation of vulnerable migrants and internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Libya, many of whom are deeply affected by the unstable security situation without access to basic essential services and little to no access to health care. Libya’s fragile and under-resourced health care system, which suffered from 32 reported attacks against health infrastructure in 2020 (Libya ranked fourth highest in number of attacks against health infrastructure in the world), frequent fuel shortages and electricity outages (impacting the capacity of medical facilities to deliver appropriate medical assistance), continued mobility restrictions and high unemployment (the unemployment rate among migrants increased from 17 per cent in January-February to 29 per cent May-June) create an environment where migrants and IDPs continue to rely on humanitarian community health partners for service delivery and referral to private health care facilities.
In addition, the continuous power cuts affect the water supply for over a third of the Libyan population in the north west parts of the country. Practical measures, such as frequent handwashing to protect against infection, are consequently difficult to maintain. The current outbreak of COVID-19 in the country has also provoked social stigma and discriminatory behaviors against migrants and people of certain ethnic backgrounds, as well as anyone perceived to have been in contact with the virus. While the ceasefire agreement signed on 23 October by the 5+5 Joint Military Commission gives hope for a more conducive work environment for humanitarian actors, in the same month there was a 22 per cent increase in COVID-19 cases in just two weeks. COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality rates continue to rise steadily and existing gaps in the COVID-19 response must be addressed. The urgent needs of migrants and IDPs across Libya will not vanish in 2021.