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Libya's new transit facility for vulnerable refugees welcomed by UN

Xinhua,November 30, 2017 Adjust font size:

GENEVA, Nov. 29 (Xinhua) -- The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, on Wednesday welcomed the decision by authorities in Libya to set up a "transit and departure facility" in Tripoli for people in need of international protection.

The refugee agency said in a statement from Geneva that the initiative is supported by the Italian government and will facilitate the transfer of thousands of vulnerable refugees to third countries.

"We hope that thousands of the most vulnerable refugees currently in Libya will benefit from this forward-looking initiative," Roberto Mignone, UNHCR representative to Libya was quoted as saying.

The statement came after UN agency chiefs told the UN Security Council that they are stepping up work to stop grave abuses perpetrated against refugees and migrants along the Central Mediterranean routes, including alleged slave trade in Libya.

Mignone noted that the main objective is to speed up the process of securing solutions in third countries, particularly for unaccompanied and separated children and women at risk.

These solutions will include resettlement, family reunification, evacuation to UNHCR-run emergency facilities in other countries, or voluntary return, as appropriate.

At the facility, UNHCR staff and partners will provide registration and life-saving assistance such as accommodation, food, medical care and psychosocial support.

The initiative is one of a range of measures needed to offer viable alternatives to the dangerous journeys undertaken by refugees and migrants along the Central Mediterranean route.

In September, UNHCR called for an additional 40,000 resettlement places to be made available for refugees located in 15 countries along this route.

So far, only 10,500 pledges have been made and the UN said it would like to see European Union member states and others step up with offers of resettlement places and other solutions, including family reunification slots. Enditem