IOM has been operating in Libya since 2006 and continues to maintain a strong presence in the country, with staff working from two offices in Tripoli, one suboffice in Benghazi and field offices in Gatroun, Zwara, Bani Waleed and Sabha with projects implemented in the south, east and west of Libya. IOM implements a wide range of programmes to address urgent humanitarian needs of affected populations, as well as programmes to strengthen resilience and enhance the capacity of the country to address root causes of instability.

IOM Libya has 53 international staff and 582 national staff based in Tunisia and Libya, including thirdparty contracted staff. Working in close cooperation with the Libyan Government, IOM reaches thousands of displaced and conflict-affected Libyans and migrants in need through vital humanitarian and development assistance. IOM is committed to continue its efforts to ensure a strong presence in Libya and deliver assistance, working with local partners, building their capacity and together overcoming operational and access challenges.


P.O. Box 6748
Hay Al Andalos Post Office

Tel: +21.82 14 77 78 38, +21.82 14 78 24 68
Fax: +21.82 14 77 78 39
Email: iomtripoli@iom.int

*Please note that the IOM Libya office is currently based in Tunis, Tunisia. 

Migration Activities
Movement, Emergency and Post-crisis Migration Management
Project 1 DFID: The DFID-funded project focuses on Search and Rescue in the Desert (SARD) in the desert in the south of Libya. This is a response to the high numbers of migrants who pass through the desert form neighboring countries, who often face a dangerous and sometimes fatal journey. The action will work with the Libyan Red Cross to set up a search and rescue team in the chosen area(s). This team will work together with IOM protection and health teams to ensure that the correct referrals are made to host families and health centres for vulnerable migrants and those in need of health care. In this regard, the project has provided equipment to local health centres and trainings on alternatives to detention and the host family system.
Project 2 Italian MFA: Under this project 4,780 migrants rescued at sea, detained in detention centres, or stranded in urban areas of Libya will benefit from the voluntary humanitarian return assistance to their country of origin. Through VHR, IOM provides an otherwise unavailable safe and dignified solution for currently stranded and detained migrants, including assistance with reintegration upon their arrival.
Project 3 Italian MFA: Through this project, the Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism provides protection and assistance to vulnerable migrants, including through provision of humanitarian aid and other critical services. This comprehensive approach focuses on direct assistance to migrants, assisted voluntary return and reintegration, collection and data analysis, and communication with communities. 
Project 4 EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in North Africa: As a direct response to the migration crisis in Libya, IOM developed the Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) Programme for stranded, vulnerable, or detained migrants who expressed their desire to voluntarily return from Libya to their country of origin. The VHR programme supports migrants to acquire consular support, return home safely while providing reintegration support upon arrival through a tailored, comprehensive reintegration plan. IOM will offer VHR assistance to 15,000 migrants rescued at sea, detained in detention centres, or stranded in urban areas in Libya. IOM will continue to expand its VHR outreach and awareness-raising activities to migrant communities in urban settings, and to migrants in detention centres and urban areas. In addition, IOM will continue to enhance its efforts to build a strong relationship with the network of consular authorities to enhance travel and identity documentation for migrants. In support of reintegration for migrants from Libya, IOM Libya will provide reintegration support to indicatively 1,500 migrants in the form of either education, medical, housing, and or income generating activities.
Migration Health
Project 1 DFID: Through the DFID project, four health facilities were identified for capacity building assistance. These health centres in Bani Waleed were provided with materials (which include medicines and equipment like thermometers, blood pressure meters, ventilation machines etc. and disposable materials) in January 2019.
Project 2 Swiss State Secretariat for Migration: The aim of this project is to address the critical protection and health needs of detained migrants. 3,050 beneficiaries will have access to primary health care services with referral linkages for specialized care and protection services. In addition, migrants who express a willingness to return to their countries of origin will have the opportunity to benefit from IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return programme.
Migration and Development
Project 1 Swiss State Secretariat for Migration: This project aims to promote micro-entrepreneurship initiatives in Sabha and Qatroun as a means to improve access to self-employment and help generate income, thereby contributing to support the stability and resilience of conflict-affected communities in the south of Libya. 115 micro-entrepreneur beneficiaries from Sabha and Qatroun were chosen and provided with business skills training. They will be provided with tools and equipment to start or refresh their business in the coming months.
Project 2 Italian MFA: In addition to VHR and MRRM components, this project focuses on community stabilisation to address the drivers of instability, including tensions between migrants and local communities though the restoration of services and community infrastructure, while at the same time providing short-term employment opportunities for migrants, IDPs, and host communities and reviving the local economy.
Migration Policy and Research
Description/ Donors The research program aims at developing and strengthening a reliable and comprehensive knowledge-base on migration in Libya through the establishment and expansion of a network of local and international researchers and experts, academia and policy makers working on migration in Libya.
the Research activities at IOM Libya are informed to the cooperative framework set by the Global Compact for Migration (GCM). The main purposes are strengthening the knowledge and analysis of migration for shared responsibilities and improved policies, through the design and development of studies based on quality data on rights, obligations, options for safe migration and awareness raising about the risks of irregular migration. The proposed studies are intended to present and analyse both the challenges and benefits of migration and to dispel the misleading narratives that generate a negative perception of migrants. Research studies and their findings and recommendations are thus aimed at empowering migrants, especially women and youth, to become full members of the societies, highlighting their positive contribution to the local economy and development and promoting inclusion and social cohesion.
Project 1

EUTF: Under the European Trust Fund Project Protecting vulnerable migrants and stabilizing communities in Libyaand to date IOM Libya outsourced 3 studies to an independent think-tank and two international universities:

  • Rapid labor market and skills assessment of two sample locations with high concentrations of migrants, Ubari and Qatrun (Altai Consulting)
  • Libya post-2011: Analyzing the impact of armed conflict on long-term migrants in Libya (SIPA – Columbia University)
  • Constructing the human capital profiles among both the international migrant and resident population in Libya (Georgetown University)

Two studies are also upcoming. The first is a Mapping and profiling Libyans as potential migrants and migrants in Libya, focusing also on the decision to migrate in relation to:  the impact of environmental factors on displacement, specifically desertification and droughts in the south (1), the access to employment for youth (2), and the role of women (3). The second is a Rapid assessment for evidence-based policies on trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants in Libya.

Project 2

Under the Community Stabilization Programme (EUTF), IOM Libya outsourced two studies:

  • Assessment of economic opportunities for host and migrant communities in the agriculture and livestock sector in Libya (DIWAN Research and Voluntas Advisory)
  • Labour Market Assessment in Benghazi and Kufrah - supporting local micro entrepreneurs through targeted vocational skills and entrepreneurship trainings and provision of small-scale in-kind support in relevant sectors of the economy (Altai Consulting)
Project 3 RDPP: Under the Regional Development and Protection Programme in North Africa two studies are being developed: a labour market assessment in Tripoli and in the whole country and a feasibility study on bilateral agreement for cooperation between Libya and the major countries of origin.
Reparation Programmes
Description/Donors EU EMERGENCY TRUST FUND FOR AFRICA – The EUTF for Africa was established to address the primary causes of irregular migration throughout Africa. The regional scope of the Trust Fund in Libya focuses on the protection and resilience of migrants and in host communities throughout Libya. The project is divided into two pillars: 1)
protection and assistance for all those in need, with the aim to expand the protection space in Libya, with a particular focus on migrants and refugees; 2) stabilization, aiming at supporting socioeconomic development at municipal level and local governance, in order to better integrate migrants, internally displaced persons and returnees and stabilize host communities
Project 1


1.Provide multi-sectoral assistance and protection to migrants, refugees and host communities, in particular inside detention centres, at disembarkation points, in urban settings and desert locations.

2.Enhance of labour migration policy legislation, structures, and coordination mechanisms for effective labour migration management.

3.Strengthen migration data and communication on migration flows, routes and trends.

4.Support the stability and resilience of conflict-affected communities.

IOM will provide urgently needed assistance and protection to vulnerable migrants and other crisis-affected populations in Libya and improve social cohesion. The intervention has been designed to address the magnitude of irregular migration attempts across the Mediterranean from Libya and the resulting challenges for migrants and the under-resourced institutions of the Libyan authorities, particularly the Libyan Coast Guard (LCG), Port Security, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Department for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM). IOM will carry out targeted interventions at points of disembarkation and migrant detention centres, which presently do not meet minimum international standards and have reportedly been sites of abuse and exploitation of migrants.

Project 2

IOM will respond to the effects of the ongoing instability and difficult economic conditions of migrants and host communities, and when relevant internally displaced persons (IDPs), and returnees in Libya. All populations across Libya suffer from grave insecurity, social and economic hardship, including the inability to access life-saving medical assistance, food insecurity, and lack of safe drinking water, sanitation, shelter and education, in a context of week rule of law.

IOM will support safe shelters as alternatives to detention whereby the refurbishment of detention centres and disembarkation points will take place in order to meet the minimum detention standards (toilets, showering facilities, and sewage system). The Action seeks to address the escalating protection concerns of migrants through interventions at disembarkation points, detention centres, in remote southern desert areas, and urban settings, but also through working to develop the labour market management as a means of providing sustainable economic opportunities for migrants on the Libyan labour market.

Project 3 Through the community stabilization component, IOM will contribute towards the easing of tensions between Libyan tribes and between Libyan host communities and migrants by providing communities and municipal governments in four cities with opportunities to implement projects that will restore essential services, rehabilitate key infrastructure, and promote economic development, while bringing different groups together peacefully and in a spirit of cooperation. This builds on IOM’s ongoing community stabilisation programming, increasing the scale and diversity of activities in Sabha and Qatroun in the South while also expanding into Kufrah and Benghazi, two cities where community cohesion has been severely undermined by violence in recent years.