Libya has long been an important transit and destination country for migrants coming from different parts of Africa. Even with today’s volatile situation across the country, Libya remains Africa’s main departure point to Europe for migrants seeking better economic opportunities. Nevertheless, this journey is extremely perilous and the goal of reaching Europe is not always achieved.
The Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism (MRRM) in Libya was established in 2018 and aims to provide direct assistance services such as food and non-food items, medical assistance, protection and mental health and psychosocial support, awareness-raising and information of the risks of irregular migration and its alternatives, and referral services, such as medical referrals to external health facilities, and referrals to other units inside IOM including the Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) programme, or other partners as per their mandate.
Assistance is delivered through the MRRM base in Tripoli and IOM’s MRRM mobile teams that operate in Bani Waleed, Qatroun, Sabha, Ghat, Tripoli, Zwara, and Benghazi. The mobile teams reach approximately 400 migrants in each location every month and provide comprehensive assistance and referral support which migrants cannot otherwise access due to fears of personal safety or of being arrested or due to lack of financial means, transportation or ill health.
The overall objective of the MRRM programme is to bring together under one mechanism a wide range of services and needs-based assistance for vulnerable migrants living in urban settings, such as health-related services, logistical assistance, awareness-raising activities and capacity-building of other stakeholders including local authorities.
Areas Of Intervention
- Provision of Assistance
AMRRM teams conduct mapping exercises to assess the targeted groups’ situation and provide them with assistance as per an initial onsite vulnerability assessment. Under MRRM, IOM provides non-food items, hygiene kits, food assistance, health care, as well as mental health and psychosocial support services. MRRM also refers migrants to IOM’s Protection unit and VHR programme. Mobile teams are accessible through the MRRM helpline, which migrants can call in an emergency, when seeking information and advice, or to raise concerns and provide feedback about the services received. MRRM also utilizes DTM migrant reports by taking into consideration the overall needs of migrants and IDPs per location and receives referrals of migrants in need from other units inside IOM and humanitarian partners.
The volatile security and economic situation, coupled with the evolving COVID-19 epidemic has deeply impacted migrants. MRRM expanded their services to provision of ready-to-eat kits to support vulnerable migrants in urban settings in collaboration with World Food Programme (WFP).
Often deceived by smugglers and traffickers, many migrants are misinformed before leaving their country as they do not have access to reliable sources of information. This leaves many migrants extremely vulnerable to different types of abuse during their migratory journey. MRRM designs and mainstreams awareness-raising campaigns about the risks of irregular migration, information on alternative pathways, disease control and prevention (including COVID-19), available humanitarian services in Libya, and numbers to call for migrant assistance. MRRM teams promote the campaign information through individual and group outreach sessions, art and cultural events and social media.
- Capacity Building and Community Engagement
MRRM also aims to facilitate community-based activities to the benefit of both host and migrant communities. Moreover, the programme wishes to build the capacity of government counterparts on improved migration management practices and policies. By organizing various training sessions and workshops, MRRM can strengthen Libyan authorities knowledge, skills and abilities, while raising awareness of the well-being and rights of migrants within the country.
MRRM currently has seven mobile teams in Libya, located in Zwara, Bani Waleed, Sabha, Ghat, Qatroun, Benghazi and Tripoli. IOM is also running an MRRM base at Hay Alandalous in Tripoli. Each team is comprised of a team leader, a female and male caseworker, a nurse and a doctor. Additionally, MRRM has a community engagement team which focuses on awareness-raising campaigns and community engagement initiatives.