Country Facts

DRC present since:


Staff on location:


Displaced population:


Displacement Situation 

Libya has been beset by conflict and political crisis since 2011 and has been recently exacerbated due to rounds of armed conflict. Currently, 1.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance [HNO 2021]. Many IDPs displaced since 2011, are now facing secondary or tertiary displacement, thus compounding the erosion of coping capacities. In addition, 228,000 people returning home are in need assistance. As per IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM; round 34 published on 17.02.2021), currently there are 278,177 IDPs, 604,965 returnees and 571,464 migrants in Libya.

DRC Response 

The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and the Danish Demining Group (DDG) have been operational in Libya since 2011 with offices in Tripoli, Benghazi, Yefren and Sabha, and a coordination office in Tunis. DRC is currently one of the few humanitarian organisations to have permanent international staff presence in both the West (Tripoli) and the East (Benghazi). With funding from ECHO, SDC, DANIDA, EUTF, CERF, and UNDP, DRC has an established and comprehensive protection programme providing direct assistance and basic needs for vulnerable, conflict affected internally displaced persons [IDPs], host families, returnees, irregular migrants, refugees and asylum seekers. DDG, with funding from the EU, SIDA and government of the Netherlands, and its strategic Libyan NGO partner, Free Fields Foundation, implements a broad range of Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA) activities in Benghazi, Tripoli and Sabha, in addition to community safety initiatives in Tripoli, Zuwara, Wazin and Nalut.

Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA)
Establishing a safe environment, by conducting HMA activities including explosive ordinance risk education, survey and clearance, is a major precursor to the overall security and stability of Libya, that brings about development, re-established infrastructure as well as facilitating access to socio-economic services. Explosive ordnance contamination affects stabilization and reconstruction efforts by hindering rehabilitation and development projects and limiting humanitarian access.

In 2020, DDG surveyed 644,375 square metres of land and removed and destroyed 342 items of explosive remnants of war and 897 items of small arms ammunition. Explosive ordnance risk education was delivered to 3,503 direct beneficiaries, including 229 men, 90 women, 1,894 boys and 1,290 girls through 238 sessions.

DRC Protection programming includes a strong emphasis on general protection interventions including the following:
• Protection monitoring: DRC collects and analyses information over time relating to physical, material and legal safety, rights and access to services of conflict and/or displaced-affected populations, to inform humanitarian programming and advocacy and to identify individuals or households in need of assistance.
• Individual Protection Assistance: whereby DRC provides support in the context of experience of a rights violation or perceived protection risks. This can include a cash distribution or in-kind-assistance to meet a specific need for identified individuals or households.
• Referrals of vulnerable individuals or households to external service providers: to facilitate access to a wide range of services related to health and protection.
• DRC also provides case management and psycho-social support to identified individuals with specific needs.
• Non-food items: DRC provided material relief items to conflict affected populations to meet critical needs. This included hygiene kits, winterization kits among others.

Multi-purpose cash assistance (MPCA)
DRC provides multipurpose, unrestricted cash grants to displaced households in multiple transfers to help meet their basic needs and reduce negative coping mechanisms.

Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI)
In response to the April 2019 conflict, DRC initiated a shelter project to provide adequate physical protection, safety and privacy to displaced populations living in collective shelters. DRC’s interventions include rehabilitation works, improved access to water, cash for rent, and NFI distributions.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion (WASH)
In response to the global Covid-19 pandemic, DRC introduced WASH programming in line with our global competencies in this sector. DRC is currently supporting the full package of WASH interventions to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene conditions for at risk populations. Interventions include rehabilitation of public works such as health facilities and schools.

Economic Recovery
In an effort to support more sustainable results, where feasible and appropriate, DRC is supporting economic recovery initiatives such as support for small businesses and entrepreneurs with improved skills, capacity and access to small business grants.

Community Safety
DDG has been implementing community safety initiatives in Libya since 2018, working with other international organisations to ensure communities voices are taken into account within local governance. DDG also supports a conflict sensitive approach to programming through an innovative conflict analysis process which leads to programming recommendations in the areas of intervention.

DDG has also implemented community safety initiatives in southeast Tunisia since 2016 and in 2018 entered the Libyan border-towns of Zuwara, Nalut, and Wazin with a similar approach. This programme addresses border management holistically, analyzing the dynamics that cause tension within and across communities, fuel insecurity and illicit activities throughout the region. DDG has succeeded in establishing Conflict Management Committees in each town, as well as opportunities for exchange and joint, cross-border initiatives that contribute to preventing violence and stabilizing the border region.

Regular advocacy is key, both at country and international level, with donors, policy makers and humanitarian actors to promote a principled, rights-based and needs-based response to support conflict and displacement affected communities.

DRC-DDG has placed considerable emphasis on improving and participating in relevant humanitarian coordination platforms and initiatives. These include: LibMAC monthly Directors Meeting, Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) meetings, Libya International NGO Forum (LIF) Steering Committee, Protection Sector Strategic Advisory Group (SAG) meetings, Cash and Markets Working Group (CMWG) meetings, the Shelter and NFI Sector, the WASH Sector, the Livelihoods Working Group and the Mine Action Sub-Working Group under the Protection Sector. DRC also currently hosts the Protection Sector co-lead position. DRC has developed an improved approach to coordinated efforts at informal settlements namely site management and coordination.


Avril Elliott

Country Directory - Libya

[email protected]

James Curtis

Regional Director

[email protected]