UNHCR evacuates 172 migrants from Libya to Niger

UNHCR evacuates 172 migrants from Libya to Niger

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has evacuated 172 migrants out of Libya to in Niger on the evening of 4 November. It was the first evacuation flight to Niger in more than a year, after the Libyan authorities lifted a blanket ban on humanitarian flights.

“UNHCR is relieved to see the resumption of these life-saving evacuation flights,” said the agency’s Chief of Mission in Libya, Jean-Paul Cavalieri. “However, considering the limited number of places, evacuation can only be a solution for extremely vulnerable people, in urgent need of security and protection.”

The U.N. agency said that many of those evacuated had previously been detained in “extremely dire conditions, were victims of trafficking or had experienced violence in Libya.”

“The group included families, children traveling alone, and a baby born just a few weeks ago. Evacuees said they were relieved to be leaving Libya,” UNHCR said.

In Niger, UNHCR says it provides mental health care support to those who have faced traumatic events while in Libya, as well as access to educational and vocational training opportunities. So far, 3,361 migrants have been evacuated from Libya to Niger, of whom 3,213 have departed from Niger to third countries on resettlement and complementary pathways.