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UNHCR organizes humanitarian evacuation of 176 vulnerable asylum seekers out of Libya

By APO Group
10 December 2021   |   6:00 pm
Download logo176 vulnerable asylum seekers were evacuated from Libya today on a humanitarian flight to Rwanda, organized by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. It was the second such flight to Rwanda this year, using the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM), the first having taken place in July. Those evacuated include men, women and children, including several…

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
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176 vulnerable asylum seekers were evacuated from Libya today on a humanitarian flight to Rwanda, organized by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. It was the second such flight to Rwanda this year, using the Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM), the first having taken place in July.

Those evacuated include men, women and children, including several young babies from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan. Many are victims of trafficking or survivors of gender-based violence and other forms of abuse, with several just released from detention centres.

“We are very happy that we were able to evacuate such large numbers of people today, especially the very young, who now have a chance to grow up in safety and live full and dignified lives. We also appreciate the co-operation of the Libyan authorities in facilitating this flight”, said Jean-Paul Cavalieri, UNHCR’s Chief of Mission for Libya.

In Rwanda, the asylum seekers will stay at the Gashora-based Emergency Transit Centre, where UNHCR will provide them with accommodation, food, water, medical care, psychosocial support, and life skills training. UNHCR aims at helping them to find durable solutions such as resettlement to third countries, voluntary return where it is possible, or local integration in Rwanda.

“It’s relieving to see more people evacuated to safety in Rwanda. We commend the leadership of this country and our supporters for their generous backing of efforts to revive the hope of the evacuees,” said Ahmed Baba Fall, the UNHCR Representative to Rwanda.

A total of 824 refugees and asylum seekers have been so far evacuated from Libya to Rwanda under the Emergency Transit Mechanism since 2019.

UNHCR is grateful for the resettlement pledges made available to the ETMs by third countries as well as the financial contributions from Austria, Denmark, the European Union, France, Malta, Norway and Switzerland.

UNHCR was able to resume humanitarian flights out of Libya, which had been blocked for most of the year, in November. Since 2017, 7,490 refugees and asylum seekers have departed Libya through humanitarian evacuations or resettlement to third countries.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).