Crisis update – August 2017: Almost all the men, women and children who attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea have passed through Libya. Teams aboard MSF’s search and rescue boats have heard accounts of the alarming levels of violence and exploitation these desperate people experienced in Libya at the hands of security forces, militias, smuggling networks, and criminal gangs. Following further restrictions on independent humanitarian assistance and the increasing blockade of migrants within Libya, MSF has temporarily suspended the search and rescue activity of one of its ships, Prudence, which was operating in international waters off the Libyan coast. Read more

Latest info – May 2018: Dozens of refugees and migrants wounded after trying to escape horrific captivity conditions


Libya remains fragmented by conflict and fighting continued in several parts of the country in 2016.

The breakdown of law and order, the economic collapse and the existence of three governments had a severe impact on the healthcare system. MSF made ad hoc donations of drugs and medical equipment to many hospitals throughout the country to support emergency and surgical care.

In Benghazi, MSF ran a clinic with a Libyan NGO to offer paediatric and gynaecology consultations to displaced and vulnerable people. MSF also supported the emergency room in Benghazi medical centre, and Al Abyar and Al-Marj hospitals with staff and training.

In the west, MSF supported the main Misrata hospital and established a partnership for infection control with an MSF-run hospital in Amman. MSF also provided two hospitals in Zintan with supplies and mass-casualty response training. Due to low patient numbers, MSF stopped supporting Maritime hospital in Zuwara in March, and three polyclinics outside Zuwara in October.

In addition to being a destination for hundreds of thousands of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, Libya is a place of transit for people attempting to cross the Mediterranean and reach Europe. These people are exposed to alarming levels of violence and exploitation.

MSF ran mobile clinics in seven migrant detention centres located in and around Tripoli. Medical complaints were mostly related to appalling conditions inside the dangerously overcrowded detention centres: lice, scabies and flees were rife and significant numbers of detainees were suffering from nutritional deficiencies and the lack of safe drinking water. MSF carried out 7,145 medical consultations, as well as 49 antenatal consultations for women in detention and 46 consultations for children under the age of five.

Read about MSF’s activities in other countries in 2016

Year MSF first worked in the country: 2011.

2016 Key figures
Outpatient consultations 10,500
No. staff in 2016 29
2016 Expenditure €6.3 million


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