10:00 am EDT - 11:30 am EDT

Past Event

An overlooked crisis: Humanitarian consequences of the conflict in Libya

Friday, April 24, 2015

10:00 am - 11:30 am EDT

Brookings Institution
Saul/Zilkha Rooms

1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC

With international attention focused on the humanitarian emergencies in Syria and Iraq, the escalating crisis in Libya has gone overlooked. Scores of those displaced during the 2011 Libyan revolution have been unable to return to their homes, while over a million more have been uprooted in the subsequent violence. Hundreds of thousands of Libyans remain displaced within their country, while countless more have sought shelter in neighboring states such as Tunisia. At the same time, human traffickers are taking advantage of the collapse of order in Libya, sending more and more boats across the Mediterranean filled with asylum seekers and migrants desperate to reach Europe. With the vast majority of international actors having pulled out of Libya in the summer of 2014, humanitarian assistance for needy populations is in short supply, and solutions to the crisis seem far from sight.

On April 24, the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement convened a discussion on the humanitarian consequences of the violence in Libya, focusing on the implications for those in Libya and for the country’s neighbors. Brookings Nonresident Fellow Megan Bradley drew on recent research on Libya’s displacement crisis. Speakers also included Kais Darragi of the Embassy of the Republic of Tunisia and Shelly Pitterman of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Elizabeth Ferris, senior fellow and co-director of the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement moderated the event and offered opening remarks.